Monday, 16 July 2012
A horse that came to Melbourne last year on a Melbourne Cup mission will be in pursuit of a much more modest goal at Flemington on Saturday.
Despite having won nothing more than a maiden in England in the care of Brian Ellison, Saptapadi made the select fields in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, finishing near the tail in both.
But his new trainer Jim Conlan is slowly being won over.
"His first couple of gallops I thought he was just an ordinary horse but as he has got fitter he has been more impressive in his work," Conlan said.
Conlan said Saptapadi was potentially a better horse than he showed in his spring campaign which ended after he finished last of five behind Americain in the Group Two Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 12.
At his last run before coming to Australia he finished fifth in the Ebor Handicap (2800m) to Moyenne Corniche, his stablemate in the Yorkshire stable of Brian Ellison.
Saptapadi resumed last month, finishing down the track in a heat of the Winter Championship.
He runs in Saturday's 1600m Open Hcp, after which Conlan will decide whether to back off and get ready for a spring campaign or to persevere with a winter preparation.
There were 22 entries for the race in which Saptapadi will carry 57kg.