Trainer Kris Lees has revealed that Senta De Noche will take up the running in the 2014 Starlight Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Senta De Noche started his spring preparation with a credible fourth in the Australian Open Polo Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on September 13 and took up the running to return to winning form in the Drummond Golf Handicap (1100m) at Warwick Farm on October 8.
The Encosta De Lago gelding had plenty of excuses when eighth in the Lidoran Group Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 1, but produced an impressive front-running performance to take out the Hunter Valley Horse Handicap (1150m) at the Randwick Kensington track last Saturday.
Lees admits that the on-pace bias that was present on the Kensington surface last weekend may have made Senta De Noche’s victory look more impressive than it was, but he still believes that the seven-year-old can prove tough to run down if he is able to find the lead in the early stages of the Starlight Stakes.
“He was maybe flattered by the type of bias on the track, but once he finds the front and especially finds the rail he is a horse he is pretty hard to run down,” Lees said.
“We will ride him in a similar manner tomorrow.”
Senta De Noche has generally had his races spaced during his racing career to date and he will be racing on the seven day back-up in the Starlight Stakes for the first time.
Lees said that Senta De Noche had been given a quiet week following his Hunter Valley Horse Handicap victory, but he said the seven-year-old had given him every indication that he will have no problems on the quick back-up.
“He hasn’t backed up before, but he is nice and bright and well in himself and he gives the indication that he will handle it.
“We will probably put him away after this run to get him back for the autumn and the winter.
“His first day back on the track was yesterday.
“He had a couple of swims and a jog on the treadmill, but he seems well.”
Senta De Noche is currently available at 2014 Starlight Stakes odds of $14, while Our Boy Malachi ($2.60) remains a clear favourite from last start winner Dothraki ($5.50), market mover Lilliburlero ($8), Team Cummings-trained Shamalia ($8.50) and the consistent Cradle Me ($11).