Melbourne’s rainfall and how firm the Caulfield track is will determine whether Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet runs first-up in the Orr Stakes.
Co-trainer Ciaron Maher said he was happy enough with Sir Dragonet’s condition to return to racing but the mitigating factor as to whether he runs in Saturday’s Group One event over 1400 metres at Caulfield would be the state of the track.
Melbourne is forecast to have between 10mm and 25mm of rain on Friday but as the Caulfield track demonstrated last Saturday it dries out quickly after rain.
Maher said his initial plan was for Sir Dragonet to resume from a spell in next month’s All-Star Mile at The Valley but he believes he is forward enough to return on Saturday.
Maher was buoyed by the five-year-old stallion’s trial win at Geelong last Thursday over 1200 metres.
“He’s forward enough to run. It will come down to how much rain and the track condition whether he takes his spot or not,” Maher said on RSN on Tuesday morning.
Maher said Sir Dragonet’s form suggested that he preferred tracks with give in them.
“He’s got the residual fitness. He’s been ticking over at the beach. He’s had a jump-out and a trial,” he said.
Maher said the key aspect of Sir Dragonet’s trial win at Geelong was that he jumped well.
In the trial Sir Dragonet was first to jump and was never headed.
“He seems that bit sharper. It’s going to rain on Friday but it’s a quick recovering track,” Maher said.
Maher pointed out that the weather was going to be mild during the week and if it stayed like that the track may not dry out as quickly.
“If it’s a firm track he won’t run. It wouldn’t surprise me if we got conditions to suit he’d be very competitive on Saturday,” he said.
Maher said Sir Dragonet had benefited from having a couple of weeks off after the Melbourne Cup and spending time at Balnarring beach.
“The main focus was to get him to begin well. He was okay in the Cox Plate and then a bit tardy in the Melbourne Cup. His body is a bit more supple and he’s a bit fresher in the mind.”
Maher said Sir Dragonet’s main target for the preparation in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, April 10.
Sir Dragonet is a $4 favourite for the Orr Stakes in TAB fixed odds markets.