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Country trainer down to one at Sandown

Country trainer Paul Preusker will delay the return to city racing of in-form gelding Kapaulenko.

The five-year-old would have been aiming for a fifth straight success at Sandown on Wednesday in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1600m), but a poor draw has prompted Preusker to wait for another day.

Kapaulenko is unbeaten in four outings this year having registered back-to-back wins at Terang before scoring at Naracoorte and Mildura and Preusker thought it was time to again head to town.

But after drawing the widest barrier in Wednesday’s 14-horse field, Kapaulenko will stay at Preusker’s Horsham base, denying the gelding his first metropolitan start since December 2014.

“The barrier has put me off,” Preusker said.

“He bounces hard and he’s not going to get much of a rest from out there.

“We want to come to town with him but we’ll give Wednesday a miss and instead I think he’ll go to Terang on Sunday.”

While Kapaulenko will be staying home, Preusker will still hitch the float for the long journey to Melbourne with Danehill Downs in the Sandown race.

The five-year-old has been an infrequent visitor to city racing and will be lining up for only his third metropolitan outing.

He failed in both previous races, in 2015 and 2016, over staying trips.

Preusker is hoping the 1600m of Wednesday’s race will be a nice way for Danehill Downs to return to city racing.

It comes on top of an 1800m-win in benchmark 64 grade at Mount Gambier last month which came after he was freshened following a 2200m-race at Ballarat in February.

“He’s going good,” Preusker said.

“He won well last start and I’m just touching off some new ground with him and I thought a mile at Sandown looks all right for him.

“He had a little freshen-up after Ballarat and won well at Mount Gambier and I think he’ll be on his game again.

“We’ll see how he goes.”

Irish jockey Declan Bates, who guided Danehill Downs to victory at Mount Gambier, again has the ride on Wednesday.

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