Trainer Nigel Blackiston believes Desert Jeuney finds himself in the most suitable race so far this campaign in Saturday’s 1400m open handicap at Flemington.
And the trainer has opted to use a barrier blanket on the gelding for the first time after he was slowly away in the All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) four weeks ago before finishing eighth.
That was Desert Jeuney’s second start of the winter after a long lay-off due to surgery to remove a bone chip from a fetlock after last spring.
Desert Jeuney drops to 56.5kg with apprentice Michael Dee’s 2kg claim after carrying 60kg in his two starts late last season.
“He’s in great order and Saturday is definitely a more suitable race for him, with the weight claim and it being 1400 metres,” Blackiston said.
“He had a little jumpout last week with a barrier blanket.
“He missed the kick last start because he’s a bit of a character and he can do a few things wrong occasionally.
“The barrier blanket will hopefully keep him calm in the barriers and hopefully he’ll begin well.”
The Toorak Handicap and Crystal Mile are again on the radar for Desert Jeuney who was placed in both 1600m Group One races last year.
Desert Jeuney is entered for the Caulfield Cup but Blackiston says the six-year-old will need to win the Toorak to warrant consideration.
The John Sadler-trained Charmed Harmony has won his past two starts and is odds-on favourite to make it a hat-trick on Saturday.
“If Charmed Harmony gets an easy run up front it will be hard to make ground from off the pace,” Blackiston said.
“We’ve drawn the outside gate so he’ll come back, get relaxed and hopefully he’ll be running home strongly.
“If he runs home in the first two or three then he’s definitely going the right way.”
Article from justhorseracing.com.au