Trainer Barry Baldwin is happy to ease fan favourite The Candy Man back into racing as he heads to the Group One Epsom Handicap.
The Candy Man, the winner of seven races in a row before his last-start Brisbane Cup defeat, is set to trial at Doomben on Tuesday.
He is then expected to resume early next month in Brisbane and head possibly to the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle before tackling the Epsom at Randwick on October 5.
Baldwin said the Brisbane races had probably fallen the wrong way for The Candy Man’s lead-up but it was no great disaster.
“There is a 1400 metre race the week before a 1200 metre race at Eagle Farm on September 7. We will almost certainly go to that race because really I don’t want to flatten him first-up at a longer distance,” Baldwin said.
“We can then go to the Cameron but if he doesn’t pull up the way I want after the Eagle Farm run there are a couple of races in Sydney to suit.”
Baldwin said he was confident The Candy Man could make the field for the Epsom.
“Queensland has a pretty good record in the Epsom and I think he is up with some of the state’s horses who have raced well in it,” he said.
The spring campaigns for several of champion trainer Chris Waller’s team will be decided when they step out with other carnival contenders in trials at the Gold Coast on Monday.
Tom Melbourne, Le Juge and Mantastic, who are back from winter breaks, will trial in the same heat while Reposition will trial earlier.
Le Juge was the stable find of the winter winning four races, including one in stakes company, before finishing third in the Lord Mayor’s Cup at his final run before a break.
Tom Melbourne was twice stakes placed during the winter before finishing an excellent fifth in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap.
Mantastic won two races at Flemington in May before being sent north for a winter spell.
Waller’s stable foreman Paul Shailer said the exact direction the stable runners would take would be determined after the trials.
Trainer Matt Dunn will trial Care To Think and Snitz who could also head south if they recapture race form.
At Doomben trainer Tony Gollan will trial four of his spring hopefuls – Zoustyle, Garibaldi, Vincere Volare and Niedorp.
Zoustyle’s trial will be the most watched as he is headed to the Group Three Concorde Stakes on September 7 in Sydney.