Weight has caught up with Dan Zephyr and trainer Pat Carey has resorted to a drop in distance as the gelding chases a stakes win.
Dan Zephyr paid the penalty for a string of three successive wins in the city area earlier this year and is now near the head of the weights for the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Monday.
The gelding won twice at Flemington and once at Caulfield over 1400m in January and February before eventually dropping in distance and filling a place in stakes company at Mornington.
Dan Zephyr raced in black type company at the start of a spring campaign, and while not successful, he performed creditably.
Carey took him to Ararat three starts ago resulting in the gelding returning to winning form over 1300m before finding the 1000m too short at Moonee Valley.
He then produced a good performance when third over 1400m at Pakenham last start behind one of his opponents on Saturday, Grande Rosso.
Carey says it has taken time to work out where Dan Zephyr fits in the system these days but he knows the horse is fit and going as well as ever.
“This preparation has seen him progress through to genuine open company,” Carey said.
“He got through his last preparation down in the weights and got through the grades really quickly and admittedly he did it in great style.
“I thought he fought on really well at Pakenham under the set-weights last time and I think coming back to 1200 metres is going to be a nice fit for him.
“He’ll be able to sit back off them and have a good crack at them in the straight.”
Dan Zephyr is second topweight in the 12-horse contest and has drawn nicely in barrier four.
He will be ridden by Rhys McLeod who guided the Carey-trained Toorak Cowboy to victory at Sandown on Wednesday.
“He’s done really well since his last start and his form at the track is good, so I’m sure he’ll run well,” Carey said.