Cool Chap (left) is aiming for his first win in more than a year in the Chester Manifold.
Cool Chap has performed well fresh in the past and co-trainer Tom Dabernig will not be surprised to see the gelding make his presence felt in the Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington.
In his first start back from a spell in March last year, Cool Chap was narrowly beaten when third in the Group Three Autumn Handicap at Flemington over the same 1400m-course as Saturday’s Listed Chester Manifold.
The following start he tested Humidor when second in the Blamey Stakes (1600m) at the same track.
He resumes on Saturday for his first start since two unplaced runs in August and is chasing his first victory since the spring of 2017.
Dabernig said the six-year-old, the winner of four of his 34 starts, seemed in great order.
“He’s one of those horses that it’s hard to know what sort of preparation he will be in for but you certainly couldn’t fault him on his work and how he is,” Dabernig said.
“While he’s got a bit of age on him, he’s a very sound horse and hopefully fresh he will run well.
“He seems to be in great order. He’s one of those horses that has to be left alone and let balance and finish off.
“If you fall into the trap of trying to ride him forward he doesn’t tend to finish off.
“He has run a lot of competitive races without winning as many but he’s definitely got the ability.
“I remember he got Humidor under pressure there one day.
“He’s very capable if things work out for him.”
Cool Chap was at $18 in an opening market on Wednesday for the Chester Manifold which has attracted a field of 13.
Last year’s runner-up Chamois Road is topweight with 60kg and he has the outside barrier.
Manolo Blahniq was the early $4 favourite ahead of Mr Money Bags at $5.50.
The Robbie Griffiths-trained Mr Money Bags was not among Wednesday’s acceptances for Saturday’s Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast with his syndicator Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock saying on Twitter the four-year-old will stay in Melbourne because of uncertainty over flights.