Caloundra trainer Stuart Kendrick will back his confidence in Tambo’s Mate by skipping a restricted-class race to tackle stakes company.
Tambo’s Mate was an acceptor in the Listed Keith Noud Quality and a Class 6 at Doomben but will run in the stakes race over 1200m.
The gelding has won six of his 10 starts including his past two where he was far too good for handy fields at Eagle Farm.
Kendrick said Tambo’s Mate had got better with each run this campaign and was ready to take another step.
“He is like a lot of horses who don’t mature until they are four,” Kendrick said.
“Tambo’s Mate has been superior to a couple of good fields at his past two starts.
“He beat Deep Image and Snitz into the minor placings two starts back and they have both been impressive winners since.
“Then last start he was simply too good for them. But I liked what he did in sitting off them when the pace went out of the race and then finishing off well.”
Kendrick paid credit to his staff for Tambo’s Mate’s continued improvement.
“They have done a lot of work with Tambo’s Mate in trackwork and it is paying off,” Kendrick said.
“Tambo’s Mate is on the up and let’s hope that continues Saturday.”
Kendrick said Tambo’s Mate got into Saturday’s race with the minimum weight and had drawn ideally for his racing style in barrier seven.
“I know it is a big step in class but it does look a nice option for him.”
Kendrick is having his best start to a season and is second on both the state and metropolitan premierships.
“It has been a good start to the season with 31 wins but the idea is to keep building on that and hopefully with some stakes wins,” he said.
In-form jockey Matt McGillivray had the chance to ride several horses in the race but elected to stick with Tambo’s Mate.
McGillivray has had a good year in feature races with his best a Group One win on Winning Ways in the Queensland Oaks.
He has been building a strong association with Kendrick and won on The Administrator for him at Eagle Farm on Tuesday.