Trainer Brent Stanley expects The August to improve on whatever he does in the Group Three McNeil Stakes at Caulfield as he plans the colt's path to feature races for three-year-olds later in the spring.
The August won his two starts as a juvenile and was beaten for the first time when he resumed from a let-up with a fourth placing in the Group Three Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 18, won by Tony Nicconi.
Stanley was satisfied with the colt's performance in the Vain given he wants him to peak when he gets to 1600m later in his preparation, with the Caulfield Guineas an aim.
“He ran well for a horse that's been trained for a lot further distance and is more mature now,” Stanley said.
“He travelled OK, got off the bit a long way out and I thought he held his ground nicely to the line.
“I thought it was a good run with a hell of a lot of improvement to come.
“I think he'll mirror that again on Saturday and once he gets to 1400 and 1600 metres he'll be a different animal.”
The McNeil Stakes (1200m) for three-year-olds is one of five stakes races on Saturday's Caulfield program which is headlined by the Group One weight-for-age Memsie Stakes (1400m).
Group One-winning filly Seabrook headlines the 18 nominations for the McNeil while there are another seven stakes winners among the entries.
“He'll run OK on Saturday but he'll improve a lot after Saturday,” Stanley said.
“He'll be nearly ready to rock and roll when he gets to his third, fourth, fifth runs of the preparation.”