A colt Trent Busuttin hopes could deliver him and co-trainer Natalie Young another Derby will launch his autumn campaign in a mid-week race at Sandown.
Busuttin and Young won last year’s Australian Derby with Tavago and a crack at the 2400m classic at Randwick in April is on the radar for Anaheim.
“That’s the main aim at this stage,” Busuttin said.
“He’s probably the stable’s pick to be running in a Derby at this stage.”
Busuttin has also won a Victoria Derby with Sangster in 2011 and had hoped to start Anaheim in that race at Flemington last spring but the colt was balloted out, having only broken his maiden at Benalla at his fifth start the run before.
Instead Anaheim lined up in an 1800m Listed race a few days after the Derby and won by a length.
Anaheim resumes in Wednesday’s Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1400m) against older horses and his performance will determine whether his connections give him a crack at the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) second-up on March 4.
Anaheim had three weeks off after his Flemington win before returning to work and Busuttin said he had had two nice trials, one in an unofficial jump-out before finishing second in a Cranbourne trial last week.
“We’re pleased with the way he’s going,” Busuttin said.
“Obviously it’s short of his best distance tomorrow but we’ll get a line on where we’re heading, depending on how hard he’s hitting the line.
“He holds a nomination for the 2017 Australian Guineas. While he’s obviously got to improve a great deal, if he happened to run in the first three tomorrow we’d look at that.
“Otherwise we’re just going to pick a path to those longer three-year-old staying races.”
Busuttin said Anaheim had shown more at home than he had on race-day, believing the penny hadn’t really dropped with the colt last campaign which cost him making the Derby.
He believes he has improved coming into his second campaign.
“Getting a win under his belt at Benalla gave him a bit of confidence and then probably the first time he’s actually flattened out and really attacked the line was his last start at Flemington,” he said.
“I think once he gets up to 2000 metres-plus he’ll be all right against the better ones. We’ll just see how far he’s come.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au