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Fresh Liberty right for Caulfield attack

Trainer Henry Dwyer is hoping a freshen-up and a drop in distance can lead to a stakes race victory at Caulfield for Lucky Liberty.

After two runs at 1400m, Lucky Liberty drops to 1200m in the Listed Christmas Stakes on Monday.

Four of Lucky Liberty’s five wins have come over 1200m with his two victories since returning from an injury-enforced break coming over Monday’s trip.

Although he was a winner at 1400m at Flemington before his injuries, Dwyer says Lucky Liberty is better placed at a shorter distance.

“I don’t think it’s because of his problems that he’s had problems with the trip,” Dwyer said.

“When he gets to the races he gets the adrenaline pumping and he’s sound when he gets out on the track, but I don’t think he gets 1400 metres in general.

“Over Monday’s trip if he can be held up, get to the outside, he can finish off.”

Lucky Liberty has spent time on the water walker at the Rockmount facility since his fifth at Pakenham on December 3 and Dwyer says the gelding has returned to his Caulfield base in good order.

Dwyer is favouring running stablemate Tavi Bay in Monday’s other Listed race, the Lord Stakes, rather than Saturday’s Ridgeview Park Thoroughbred Stud Handicap at Sandown.

Tavi Bay has drawn the widest barrier at Sandown while at Caulfield has barrier three in a nine-horse field.

The mare won first-up at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week before finishing last behind Hell Or Highwater, again an opponent on Monday, at Flemington on December 10.

Dwyer said Tavi Bay was reluctant to stretch out on the firm surface at her last start.

“She went terribly last time,” Dwyer said.

“Some horses jar up on firm tracks and some don’t because they don’t let themselves down properly.

“She looked after herself a bit so hopefully there’s a bit more give in the track which will suit her if that’s the case.”

Michelle Payne is booked to ride both horses at Caulfield and also Tavi Bay at Sandown if Dwyer elects to start the mare on Saturday.

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