Symon Wilde is keeping a close watch on weather patterns in the lead up to the $150,000 Australian Steeplechase at Sandown on Sunday.
Wilde's gallant jumper Britannicus and promising chaser Elvison were accepted in the 3900 metre jumps feature but the weather will play a big part if Britannicus lines up in the race.
Britannicus ran second behind stablemate Vanguard in the Brierly Steeplechase at his last outing but Wilde said the seven-year-old will not run on a heavy track in the Australian Steeplechase.
"It's useless running Britannicus on a bottomless track," the Warrnambool trainer said. "He's a complete duffer on really heavy tracks. Britannicus handles soft ground but when it gets into the really heavy range he's not much good.
"I'm keeping a watch on the weather and at this stage it looks alright but knowing Melbourne's weather it can turn pretty ordinary very quickly. I thought his effort to run second in the Brierly was sensational. He did all the work and was beaten by a very good jumper in Vanguard.
"We'll be going to Sandown quietly confident with Britannicus if he gets conditions to suit."
Elvison had an effortless victory in an open steeplechase at Casterton last Sunday but Wilde is not sure if the eight-year-old runs this Sunday.
"It may just be too quick of a back-up for Elvison to run in the Australian Steeplechase after his win at Casterton last Sunday," he said. "Elvison came through the Casterton run in great order but we'll just see how he is on Sunday morning before deciding if we run or not."
Aaron Lynch has been booked to ride Britannicus while New Zealand jumps jockey Aaron Kuru is listed to ride Elvison. The Australian Steeplechase is one of three jumps races on Sunday's program. A restricted hurdle and the $150,000 Australian Hurdle are the other features on the nine race card.
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