In a week when Matt Cumani was officially named as the trainer of spring raider San Huberto, he will take two horses to Moonee Valley who he also hopes can be factors during the spring carnival.
They are stayer Creedence, who will contest the Lockdown Legends Handicap (2040m), and three-year-old colt Hit The Shot who lines up in the Drummond Golf Handicap (1500m) on Saturday.
With Creedence, Cumani freely admits they are chasing the dream of gaining a Melbourne Cup start.
But more realistic for the trainer is the prospect of Hit The Shot lining up in the Victoria Derby.
The Ballarat horseman said he was thrilled to be named as the trainer of San Huberto this week by OTI Racing and it was a massive show of confidence in him.
The French stayer won the Group Two Prix Vicomtesse in June and has since finished third in another Group Two and eighth in the Prix Kergolay in which Cumani says he failed to handle a heavy track.
“He’s a lovely, athletic horse and he’s ideal for the major races here,” Cumani said.
“I’ve been in touch with his French trainer Fabrice Chappet and I’ll continue to work with him regarding San Huberto.”
Cumani said Creedence, who has had three starts for him including two Flemington wins since transferring from Lindsay Park, is in great shape for his first run in seven weeks.
“He’s a couple of weeks behind where we want to be due to a bruised heel but in hindsight, it could be a blessing in disguise,” Cumani said.
“He was going to run at Moonee Valley on the day the races were abandoned and then last week it was a strong 2000 metre race at Caulfield.
“This race is a little bit easier than I expected. I was dreading a wide barrier draw but he’s got barrier one which could prove tricky as he can be slowly away.
“Hopefully he’ll jump well and be up on the speed. If that’s the case, if he can get the breaks he’ll be right in the finish.”
Cumani said Creedence could have his next start in the Naturalism Stakes and head to The Bart Cummings, otherwise he’ll keep him on a county Cups path.
Hit The Shot, who won his debut over 1400 metres at Ballarat Synthetic, appeals to Cumani as a Derby prospect.
The trainer said Hit The Shot would have his next start in the Victoria Derby Trial (1800m) at Flemington on September 23.
“He’s a really promising horse and in trackwork I can’t get to the bottom of him,” Cumani said.
“Hopefully he can go on to the Derby but it’s going to be question of maturity.”