Veteran trainer John Sadler has revealed that he could not be happier with Linton heading into the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Linton returned to the races, for the first time since his memorable victory in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), with an unlucky fifth place finish in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 29.
The Galileo gelding was caught wide throughout the race but still managed to finish within a length of the winner Rebel Dane and Sadler told Thorough Media that he was thrilled with the performance.
“It was probably his best run since we have had him,” Sadler said.
“He didn’t get any favors, he was three deep all the way facing the breeze, and he was probably having a crack at them a little bit earlier than he normally would.
“To think that he was only beaten a length was a really good performance.”
Sadler is expecting Linton to get a much better run in the Toorak Handicap tomorrow but admits that the seven-year-old will still need a bit of luck to record his second victory at Group 1 level.
“More than likely, from barrier two, he is going to get a nice run and he is one of the better chances in the race,” Sadler said.
“He is one of quiet a few chances and I can see him mid-field on the fence so he is going to need some luck.
“If luck goes his way he is going to be in it right up to his ears.”
Sadler said that Linton has worked strongly since his first-up run and admitted that he did not originally plan to run the former stayer in the Toorak Handicap but changed his mind due to the outstanding condition of the popular grey.
“I couldn’t be happier with him, he is spot-on and he is as good as we can have him,” the veteran trainer said.
“I haven’t got an issue with him at all.
“We would just love to win a Group 1 with him this season.
“When we first set down his program this race wasn’t on the agenda and it was going to be a month between his first-up run and the Waterford Crystal Mile.
“He has just been a bit too well and I thought he has done so well in the stable that we can fit another run in.
“I’m not sorry that we have done that, going on the way the way that he is worked, I am very pleased.”
Linton is chasing his first victory at Caulfield since he won the 2010 edition of the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) on the way to the Melbourne Cup.