While officially winter, there is a touch of spring in the air at Saturday's Aurie's Star Handicap meeting at Flemington.
Lindsay Park has three-year-olds Muswellbrook and Ruban Bleu contesting the VRC Member Abigail Bartlett Handicap (1400m).
Ruban Bleu has the fitness edge through winter racing while Muswellbrook showed promise in the autumn, finishing a last-start second at Listed level at Randwick.
“In that race on Saturday, Ruban Bleu has got a bit of a fitness edge while Muswellbrook is possibly a bit more seasoned, a bit more advanced,” Dabernig said.
“I find first-up coming out of winter they can take a run and because you've got the spring in mind you don't want to really work them right up, so it's a bit of a fine line.
“I think Muswellbrook is clearly a talented horse but he's got a bit of weight.
“It's not a massive variance from the top to the bottom weight and I'd expect him to run well.”
Ruban Bleu is still a maiden and has finished second at his past two starts, the latest at Caulfield on July 28.
“The other day he'd had a month between runs but did run well,” Dabernig said.
“I think he's got a good chance but if for some reason he doesn't run in the top two or three he could easily go back to a maiden somewhere and probably be a good thing.
“But at the moment we'll keep going and I expect him to run well also.”