HORSE racing’s version of David versus Goliath will play out at Flemington today when Mailors Flat trainer Allan Peterson heads to Melbourne.
Peterson will chase riches with emerging stable projects Run Diego and Kuakata at the lucrative Oaks Day meeting at Flemington.
Run Diego will start from barrier four in the $100,000 TCL 3D TV Plate (1400 metres) — a race solely for grey horses.
The five-year-old gelding will carry 54 kilograms, including in-form Colac jockey Ryan Maloney.
Run Diego enters the race on the back of victory over 1200 metres at Geelong on October 24 and a second at Ballarat over 1100 metres on October 3.
He also placed twice at Sandown last preparation and won at Kilmore (1200 metres) and Warrnambool (1200 metres).
Peterson gave the horse “an each-way chance” although rain would enhance his hopes.
“It’s his first step-up to 1400 but we think he’s got a good barrier — barrier four,” he said.
“He should get a nice smother up which will allow him to settle and run the 1400 out.
“The distance is an issue. If he gets to the front too early, he’s a keen, competitive goer.
“He might over-race if the pace is slow.
“If he’s going well enough he’ll be held up for the last 200 or 300 and he’ll finish off the 1400 really well.”
Peterson said he was happy to keep faith with Maloney.
“He’s won three races on him.
“Because he’s ridden the horse before and ridden so well, we’re giving him an opportunity. Hopefully a couple of guys from the bush can crack the big time.”
Kuakata has 54.5 kilograms and jockey Craig Newitt for his run in the $150,000 Myer Spring Fashion Stakes (1800 metres).
The three-year-old colt has had just five starts but placed at his last two, including a win on Hamilton Cup day.
Peterson said Kuakata was “a future stayer” and would handle the trip.
“He’s stepping up to 1800 tomorrow which will suit him enormously,” he said.
“He’s a stayer in the making. He is, on paper, out of his depth but I think the horse will run a pretty cheeky race.
“It’ll give us a line with where we’re at for his next preparation.
“He’ll go out to the paddock tomorrow for a well-deserved rest.
“I haven’t got any plans set in concrete. We’ll see tomorrow if he’s up to that company or not.”
Peterson has nine horses in work at his Mailors Flat property.
His son Aaron works as his assistant trainer, while Warren Scott operates as their “right-hand man”.