An Oakleigh Plate start is up for grabs for smart sprinter First Command if he can repeat his impressive first up Caulfield win at Flemington tomorrow.
First Command is an odds on favourite for the Listed $120,000 Kensington Stakes (1000m) after impressing Glen Boss with a comfortable one and a quarter length win over 1000m two weeks ago.
Boss is back on again and if he wins as the premiership leader expects, trainer Anthony Freedman could consider another attempt at the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 23.
“If he came out and won well tomorrow then I guess we’d look at it, but he couldn’t win the race last year, albeit he was a bit unlucky,” Freedman said.
“We’ll just see what happens.”
“He’s as good as he was a couple of weeks ago and if he runs like that again he’s going to be awfully hard to beat,”
Boss agrees with Freedman that First Command only has to run up to his Caulfield win to be in the winner’s stall again.
“He looked the winner on pure form alone but you were taking him on trust coming back from a wind operation, and a few things like that,” Boss said.
“He had a lot on them as far as sheer class goes last time and he will be very hard to beat again.”
Even though the Kensington Stakes has $120,000 prizemoney on offer, the Listed race could only attract six final acceptors with Caulfield runner-up Rocking Force one of the main rivals again for First Command who Boss is expecting to be fitter.
“He would have some improvement because he looked to me like he would come out of the run and improve, he’d had the one trial going into the race I believe,” Boss said.
“If he has come on and found another length or so then that’s great, if he hasn’t and he holds his form it is just as good.”
First Command was held up from a run in the straight in last year’s Oakleigh Plate when fourth to Queensland sprinter Woorim and has had a wind operation since to rectify a breathing problem.
The Commands seven year old has been posted at the short odds of $1.60 with Rocking Force at $7.50 and former Hong Kong champion miler Good Ba Ba at $8.50.