On a day when three-year-old colt Persian Empire can press his claims for a trip to New Zealand for the Derby, stablemate Ceylon will be out to snare her first city win.
Co-trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young have Persian Empire and four-year-old Ceylon entered for separate races on Wednesday’s Caulfield program.
Persian Empire, who runs for the first time in seven weeks in the Ladbrokes Info Hub (1600m), has the New Zealand Derby as a target in early March.
He has been installed favourite for Wednesday’s benchmark-64 race while Ceylon is among the main contenders at $5 for the Ladbrokes Handicap (1440m).
Ceylon has won three of her 10 starts with all her victories coming on her home track at Cranbourne.
The mare returned from a spell after having bone chips removed and posted a win in a 1200m benchmark-64 on December 29.
“She’ll run well again,” Busuttin said.
“She’s a filly we did have a lot of time for and she ended up having bone chips in the autumn so she had them removed.
“She will go on with it. She’s city-grade, no worries.”
Ceylon was tried up to 2000m during her three-year-old autumn campaign and connections thought enough of the filly to put her in the Group One Australasian Oaks in Adelaide in May but she was scratched at the barriers after kicking out in the gates.
Persian Empire is at $2.90 and is scheduled to progress to a 2040m race at Moonee Valley in the coming weeks ahead of the proposed trip to New Zealand.
Wednesday’s meeting is the first of a Racing Victoria 10-week trial with the main Wednesday meeting to be run as a twilight fixture.
RV is trialling race-free Mondays over the next 10 weeks with a country meeting added to Wednesday earlier in the day.
The Caulfield meeting kicks off at 4.30pm with the last race at 8pm.