Multiple group one-winning trainer Lindsey Smith has pencilled a start in the $200,000 Warrnambool Cup on May 7 for Too Close The Sun, after an impressive victory by the four-year-old under lights at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Smith, who has stables in Warrnambool and Perth rates Too Close The Sun a top galloper in the making on the back of five wins from 11 starts.
"I've got a really good opinion of Too Close The Sun," Smith said.
"He looks an ideal Warrnambool Cup type of horse to me.
"His win over 2040 metres at the Valley was very good. I think he'll really appreciate the 2350 metres of the Warrnambool Cup.
"The world is uncertain times as we know, but for now we'll try and push forward with plans for a run in the Warrnambool Cup.
"I think a start in the Stawell Cup on April 12 would be an ideal lead-in race for the Warrnambool Cup."
Smith has decided to spell Scales Of Justice after his unplaced run in the group one William Reid Stakes last Friday night.
"Scales Of Justice has had a good campaign," Smith said.
"We've chose to give him a break. Scales Of Justice won the group one Australian Stakes and then failed in the Orr Stakes on a hard track and I think that had an impact on his run in the William Reid Stakes."
Smith took the blame for the unplaced first-up run of Tom Melbourne in the $100,000 Grandstand Cup at Ascot on Saturday.
"I probably should have given Tom Melbourne one more trial before his run on Saturday," he said.
"He only had the one trial and I should have given him another one before running him at a Ascot.
"It was my fault. I've got no big plans for Tom Melbourne at this stage I'll just see how he pulls up before working out any other plans for him."
Smith was disappointed with the effort of Anjana in the $160,000 Card Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
The veteran trainer said Anjana is a back marker and was not suited by the up-front bias, which was evident in races at Rosehill on Saturday.
POPULAR jumps jockey Lee Horner pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge at Terang last Thursday.
The charge related to Horner's ride on Royal Dragon in a highweight race.
Stewards found that near the 900 metre mark, Horner carelessly permitted Royal Dragon to shift in when not sufficiently clear of Somebody Stop Me (NZ), making contact with that gelding and taking it in across the running of Hardway that was severely checked.
His suspension started midnight March 19 and ends midnight March 31.
Stewards said the incident was in the high range.
Veteran jockey Noel Callow was outed on a careless riding charge at Bairnsdale.
Callow allowed his mount to shift inwards when insufficiently clear of Sockaholic, which was taken inwards onto Mums Wish which was in turn taken inwards onto Son of Sunny and had to be checked to avoid heels.
He was suspended for eight meetings.
His suspension starts midnight March 28 and ends April 3.
Stewards took into account his guilty plea and his good record and further they deemed this to be in the low range.
AN impressive steeplechase trial by Ablaze at Warrnambool on Friday has the Maher-Eustace stable upbeat about the chances of the eight-year-old in the Grand Annual Steeplechase.
Ciaron Maher's brother Declan who is preparing Ablaze at Ballarat said the New Zealand-bred galloper is in top shape leading into the jumps season.
"We've got circumstances out of our control around the world but if they do run the Grand Annual we're confident Ablaze will run very well," Maher said.
"He's only had the two runs in jumping races for two wins.
"He trialed very well on Friday. Ablaze has got very good flat form, which should stand him in good stead for a start in the Annual.
Maher had indicated he was going to send Ablaze over to the Great Eastern at Oakbank but those plans would be out the window following the coronavirus.
"I'm not sure what Ciaron will do with Ablaze as the lead up runs for the Annual."
Ablaze defeated stablemate Bit Of A Lad in the steeplechase trial.
Maher said Bit Of A Lad was being set for the jumping races at the rich Oakbank jumps carnival, but those plans were now in disrupted due to the coronavirus.
Former Lloyd Williams owned gallopers Exemplar and Sir Isaac Newton took part in hurdle trials for the Maher-Eustace stable at Warrnambool last Friday.