Brisbane trainer Bryan Dais dreams of having a Caulfield Cup runner and they can become a reality if Looks Like Elvis wins the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.
Looks Like Elvis is the best horse Dais has prepared and will be his first Group One runner when he contests Saturday’s 2000m race that gives the winner ballot exemption into the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.
Dais isn’t underselling the magnitude of Saturday’s assignment, having not saddled too many horses capable of running in black-type type races, let alone tackling Group One winners Hartnell, Trap For Fool, Mr Quickie and Mystic Journey.
Looks Like Elvis was in Melbourne during the autumn, finishing a narrow second to Schabau over 2000m, leaving Surprise Baby behind him.
Dais explained things didn’t pan out that day before reeling off strong late sectionals.
“He was a bit stiff not to win,” Dais said.
“He drew a good alley but didn’t really use it and he got shuffled out the back, was last on the turn and had to come out wide to get a run.
“It wasn’t a bad ride, he just didn’t get a lot of racing luck on the day.”
Dais explained Looks Like Elvis took benefit from his autumn trip south before a planned break during winter.
The trainer wanted to give Looks Like Elvis his opportunity in Melbourne during the spring and made the decision to head south after his latest win at Eagle Farm on September 21.
“We were going to come two weeks ago for the Naturalism (MRC Foundation Cup) which might have been an easier assignment, but it didn’t work out,” Dais said.
“There was 26 nominations, the travel didn’t line up, plus there was a good race at Eagle Farm for decent prize money.
“If he didn’t get a start at Caulfield it would have been a month between runs, so we decided to wait.
“He’s a trier and if some of them are off their game, or a doubt at the trip, he’ll be strong.”
Looks Like Elvis is a $34 outsider with Mystic Journey already firming into $2.70 favouritism.
Second favourite Mr Quickie has been easy since Wednesday’s barrier draw from $3.80 to $4.20 while the Chris Waller-trained Finche has firmed into $8.50 third favourite.