In a week when many trainers are yearling shopping at the Gold Coast, Paul Cave is busy in Sydney preparing home-bred Monsieur Sisu for a shot at back-to-back city wins.
There was a time when Cave was active at the major yearling sales but these days the bulk of his stable consists of horses raced by long-time clients who are owner-breeders.
And while Cave wouldn’t mind filling a few more of his Warwick Farm boxes, the 69-year-old is enjoying the change of focus.
“This horse that’s racing on Saturday was bred by a client. We watched him grow up, we broke him in ourselves, the whole thing,” Cave said.
“It’s another aspect of the industry rather than going to the sales and it’s quite interesting to see them develop.”
Monsieur Sisu will line up in the Autumn Carnival On Sale Handicap (1800m) and has drawn gate 10 in the field of 12 plus six reserves.
With many of Sydney’s top senior jockeys riding at the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast on Saturday, Cave is rapt to have secured Kathy O’Hara for the mount.
Monsieur Sisu comes into Saturday’s race after leading throughout to score at Warwick Farm last month, his third win from as many starts on heavy ground.
But Cave is adamant the horse is more than a mudlark and that it’s just his ability to maintain a good cruising speed that helps him in rain-affected conditions.
“He can still do the same thing in the wet and a lot of horses can’t. That’s what makes him look like he’s just a wet weather horse but he’s not,” he said.
Monsieur Sisu might not get the chance to prove Cave’s assessment this weekend.
Randwick was rated in the soft range when fields were declared on Wednesday and more showers have been forecast later in the week.
Monsieur Sisu’s rivals include Godolphin’s Astoria, who finished second to him at Warwick Farm, and the John O’Shea-trained last-start winner Live And Free.
Chris Waller has four runners headed by Mutarakem, who drops in distance after a last-start second to stablemate Naval Warfare over 2110m.
The Summer Sprint (1000m) has attracted a final field of eight headed by tough veteran Jungle Edge who lines up for start number 62, and the James Cummings-trained pair of Badajoz and Marsupial.
The Sprint will also mark the return of 2017 Golden Slipper runner-up Frolic who has been off the scene since she was placed in the Scone Inglis Guineas in May.