Trainer Matt Dunn is now taking the future of former boom galloper Care To Think on a race -by-race basis.
Care To Think will be having his second start this year when he tackles the $105,000 Ross MacLean Open Handicap (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Once rated a genuine Group One horse, Care To Think has been on the comeback trail after a throat operation and associated infection.
The gelding was well beaten first-up in the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton on July 10 and Dunn eased up on him.
Dunn has given him two trials since that run with Care To Think winning at Beaudesert before running third at the Gold Coast two weeks ago.
“He worked home well in the Gold Coast trial and it was good to see,” Dunn said.
“Basically I am taking it run-by-run and trial-by-trial with him. He hasn’t won for nearly 20 months (2018 Magic Millions Cup) but he is still right up in the ratings.
“It means he keeps getting big weights and he has 60.5kg again on Saturday.
“He has never won a stakes race so he is paying the price for his Millions win which was a restricted Listed race.”
Dunn said the Millions carnival was again an option for Care To Think but it was a good way off.
“If he happened to win brilliantly on Saturday we would look to Sydney in the spring. The Kosciuszko is also an option,” he said.
“But if he is just ordinary on Saturday we will have to look for something easier around Brisbane.”
Dunn has booked Luke Dittman for Care To Think on Saturday as it is a rare chance to use the jockey in a metropolitan-class race.
Dittman has had to carry the weight of being champion jockey Mick Dittman’s son throughout his career, but has more than earned a reputation of his own with 300 winners.
In recent years he has concentrated on riding at the Gold Coast where most of his 44 wins last season were recorded.
Dittman rode Care To Think when the gelding finished third in the recent Gold Coast trial.
Dunn is a fan of Dittman and uses him when he can.
“Luke doesn’t ride much at Eagle Farm or Doomben on Saturdays because he is down the Coast,” Dunn said.
“But this is a good chance to use him and he knows the horse and the track.”