Nothing would better heal the wounds of last year's narrow defeat for the connections of proven southern galloper Firoden than going one place better in Saturday's Tim Yeo Contracting Southland Crystals (2200m) at Invercargill.
While Beck is no less pleased with Firoden going into this year's race, she's mindful that rather than the seven-year-old coming in on the 54kg minimum last year, he's lumped with the 61kg topweight for his Ascot Park assignment.
“He's going well but he's just carrying a whole lot more weight this year and that's going to make it that much tougher,” Beck said.
“He's drawn barrier one so hopefully he can get a sweet run just in behind them.”
Since last year's race Firoden has won on three occasions and goes into the Crystals as a 90-rated galloper, 14 points higher than 12 months ago.
He performed with credit in his lead-up race, finishing sixth in the Group 3 Coupland's Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton last month.
“I was really happy with his Coupland's run. He tries really hard,” Beck said.
“At this stage I would have preferred a 2000m race rather than the 2200m but there aren't many 2000m races around at the moment. He had a wee freshen up after Riccarton but we've had to keep the work up to him to have him ready for the 2200m.
“The more genuine it's run, the better his chances. You'd like to think It's So Easy and Heidi Hi can run them along a bit in front and we should be able to get a good trip in behind them.”
Safely through this weekend and with a sharp enough performance under his belt, Beck is planning to drop Firoden back to 1600m for two upcoming black-type features.
“How he races on Saturday will determine whether we head to Timaru or not. We really want to have a go at the White Robe Lodge and we just have to be careful about how we get him to that. We just don't want him to be flat going into the 1600m for that.”
The Listed Timaru Cup (1600m) is run on December 28, five and a half weeks prior to the Gr.3 White Robe Lodge (1600m) at Wingatui on February 4.
She said Honesty could back up in Sunday week's Tapanui Cup (1335m) at Gore with a bold performance at Invercargill.