THE Warrnambool Cup may be six weeks away but Aaron Purcell has ambitious plans for his stayers Constantinople and Takumi to contest the $250,000 race.
Constantinople and Takumi line up in a $130,000 benchmark 84 at Mornington on Saturday, as a lead up to the feature flat race at Warrnambool's May Racing Carnival on May 5.
With no Melbourne racing on Saturday, the Mornington meeting carries metropolitan status.
Purcell said the Warrnambool Cup is high on the agenda for both of his imported stayers.
"We want to get Constantinople and Takumi into the Warrnambool Cup," the group one winning trainer told The Standard.
"The Warrnambool Cup has been on our radar for a few months. The restricted race at Mornington is a piece in the puzzle and then we'll look at the Terang Cup on April 10.
"I'm happy with how both horses are progressing. We had a messy preparation with Constantinople last time. He was not far away from getting runs in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
"I would say later in this preparation Constantinople may run over the jumps. We aim to give him a jumps trial next week. He's a versatile type of horse who is suited to all types of going while Takumi is just taking a bit of time to get to his best."
Koroit based jockey Declan Bates has been booked to ride Constantinople on Saturday while underrated hoop Blaike McDougall will ride Takumi. Bates is also booked to ride Highland Harley, La Vina, White Hawk and Great Again on the nine race program.
Warrnambool trainer Lindsey Smith saddles up La Vina and Great Again.
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