Friday, 27 July 2012
The Travelling Man will be racing to keep one step ahead of his main spring rivals when he returns at Caulfield on Saturday.
Trainer Matt Laurie is eyeing off the Vain Stakes for The Travelling Man and the Natalie Hunter Handicap (1000m) promises to provide the rising three-year-old with an important fitness edge on a host of carnival aspirants going into next month's Listed sprint.
"He's always shown a lot of ability on the track and he's a cracking type," Laurie said of the Listed Blue Diamond Preview winner.
"We're looking forward to kicking him off again on Saturday and then we're heading towards the Vain Stakes.
"He'll be nominated for the Caulfield Guineas but I'm not entirely sure if that race will be his cup of tea."
Laurie said he wanted The Travelling Man, who hasn't started since his sixth to Samaready in the $1 million Group One Blue Diamond (1200m) in February, to have a fitness edge when he hits the Vain Stakes (1100m) on August 18.
"It would be nice to pick up a bit more black type with this horse and going into that with a run under his belt, hopefully that makes that job easier," he said.
The Travelling Man was Laurie's first Group One runner and is the first of his horses since he took up training about seven or eight years ago that he has considered a genuine stakes horse.
"What particular level though, realistically we're still going to be finding out," he said.
Laurie has his doubts about the colt stretching out to the Caulfield Guineas distance of 1600m which brings the Group One Coolmore
Stud Stakes (1200m) during the Melbourne Cup carnival into focus.
"That's on the radar for sure," he said.
"I think we'll go to the Vain and then the Danehill Stakes to give him a look up the straight (at Flemington) and then go from there."
The Travelling Man is the early favourite to return in winning form.
"He's had a soft trial and had a nice solid gallop last week," Laurie said.
"There's definite improvement in him but at the same time he's done enough to win on Saturday if none of those first starters are anything special."
Stablemate Lamingtons will run in the Karen Clements Handicap (1000m) with apprentice Bradley Wallace's 3kg claim to offset the filly's 58kg impost.
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