Trainer Clinton McDonald is full of confidence that Second Effort can begin his Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a win when he resumes in the John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Mossman gelding finished sixth in the 2012 edition of the race but McDonald said he has set the horse for the Listed event this year and believes that he is in the best condition of his career.
“He’s done plenty of work, he looks great, he’s done everything right and his work has been brilliant,” McDonald told TVN.
“He’s fully matured now; he’s over all his niggly injuries he used to have and he seems to be at the top of his game.
“We’re going into the race pretty confident; he is the fresh horse who has been set for the race.”
McDonald is searching for early season success with Second Effort and has outlined the John Monash, Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m), Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), which will all be run at Caulfield, as the four races he really wants to win.
“We’ve really concentrated on these four races,” McDonald said.
“These are his Grand Finals and anything after that is a bonus.”
Second Effort contested a similar series of races last year and impressed when winning the Lawrence Stakes and finishing third behind Sincero and Happy Trails in the Memsie.
The rising seven-year-old started his autumn campaign earlier this year poorly, beating home only a single horse in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) and Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1200m), but returned to form with his second straight victory in the Wangoom Handicap (1200m) at Warrnambool.
Second Effort has accumulated over $500,000 in prizemoney from twenty-eight career starts.