Colin Little is a trainer known for his patience.
When lightly raced mare Jalan Jalan was showing signs all was not well he decided to back off and wait.
The time is now right for Jalan Jalan to make her return in Saturday’s Alfred Hospital Plate at Caulfield.
For two months Little had been planning her first-up run in the How Now Stakes at Caulfield last Saturday, a race won by the Mick Price-trained Secret Agenda.
Jalan Jalan had trialled well at Pakenham last month but Little was disappointed with her performance in a jump-out at Sandown on September 6 and delaued her return.
“I took her to the Sandown jump-outs and trialled her against Mick’s mare (Secret Agenda) and I wasn’t happy with her trial,” Little said.
“We had a couple of little things we weren’t happy with. She had lightened off and wasn’t eating all that well.
“But she’s all good now and back on track.”
Jalan Jalan has been a source of frustration for Little.
After a promising start to her career she suffered a knee injury after running second to Petits Filous at Caulfield in August last year.
Little said the 1100 metres on Saturday might turn out to be better for the mare than last week’s race.
“There’s plenty of stakes races around and it’s probably a softer return being 1100 metres,” Little said.
“We’ll get her through this and then get her up to stakes level.”
Just how high Little aims will depend on how Jalan Jalan is performing.
He said Jalan Jalan was settling better but whether she can stretch out to the 1600m of the Myer Classic at Flemington on Derby day is to be seen.
“The Myer is the aspiration for all the mares,” Little said.
“She’s not as good as Soft Sand who got beaten an inch in the race, so we’ll see where we get to.”