Brad Rawiller is hoping Lidari can return to the headlines at Caulfield, this time for all the right reasons.
Lidari returned an elevated cobalt reading after his Turnbull Stakes second in 2014 which led to a six-month suspension for his trainer Peter Moody who decided to quit the racing industry.
Moody had his final runners at Moonee Valley on Thursday night, with Rawiller riding Flamberge to Group One victory in the William Reid Stakes to send the trainer out on a high.
Lidari has been with Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Darren since late last year and head to Saturday’s Group Three Easter Cup (2000m) as a leading chance.
In three runs for Weir, Lidari has second twice including his most recent start in Adelaide on March 14.
Conceding the winner 7kg, Lidari was beaten a half-head in the 1600m Listed race at Morphettville.
Rawiller, who has been aboard the seven-year-old in his three runs for Weir, said the big weight, along with being held up at a vital stage, contributed to his defeat.
“He had a nice run but at the same time I would have loved to have had clear running on straightening rather than having to duck back to the inside,” Rawiller said.
“I didn’t really lose momentum but I got in a bit of a battle trying to get clear and that, with the big weight, might have hurt us at the finish.
“The run and the travel to Adelaide, I think it can only be a good thing for him.”
Awesome Rock, relegated to second in the Australian Cup on protest, has been the favourite over Lidari since Easter Cup markets opened but is likely to be scratched because of his wide barrier with Lidari .
Rawiller said Lidari was on his best behaviour before his run in Adelaide and it was borne out with his solid performance.
At his previous outing he finished in front of just one runner in the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield.
“He can be a bit of a lad in the yard and even in the barriers,” Rawiller said.
“He’s an entire, they can do extra well and sometimes the more work they do it’s better for them.
“Hopefully he’s reached the point in his preparation where he’s turned the corner and can continue to improve.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au