Corstens team with chances double in 2016 Golden Mile and Birthday Card Stakes

General Groove has been around the mark without winning this preparation and co-trainer Troy Corstens hopes it’s the gelding’s time to break through in the Golden Mile at Bendigo.

General Groove hasn’t won for 16 months but has been beaten less than a length in his past two starts including when fifth to Red Bomber in a Group Three race at Flemington on March 5 when he was held up for a run in the straight before angling back towards the fence.

“He arguably should have won last start given a bit of luck,” Corstens said.

“He’s racing in a terrific vein of form without winning. So it would be nice to be able to get a Listed placing or a nice Listed win on Saturday.

“I would be very surprised if he wasn’t extremely competitive.”

General Groove, who steps up to 1600m for the first time since the 2014 Villers Stakes, is the $4.20 favourite for the $150,000 race in a field of 12 with Abidewithme second favourite at $4.40 while topweight Big Memory is at $4.80.

Stephen Baster, who rode the Corstens-trained Awesome Rock to first past the post in last Saturday’s Australian Cup only to lose the race to Preferment on protest, has the ride on General Groove from barrier four.

Baster has ridden General Groove in three of his past four starts.

“He’s well into his campaign but he’s going along really nicely and we’re extremely happy with him,” Corstens said.

The Corstens team will also be chasing stakes success in Sydney on Saturday with Vezalay in the Birthday Card Stakes at Rosehill.

Vezalay was 13th in the Oakleigh Plate when first-up but Corstens believes there was an excuse for the mare running below expectations.


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