King’s Command will be on trial for a crack at the Group Three Standish Handicap when he steps out on his home track at Flemington after an encouraging return to racing.
The Leon and Troy Corstens-trained King’s Command won at Moonee Valley on November 26 and stays in the same grade on Saturday in the Plenary Group Handicap (1200m) but goes up in weight.
He has raced once down the straight at Flemington at the end of his last campaign in April when sixth in a race which featured talented sprinters Supido and Illustrious Lad.
Troy Corstens said a lot would depend on how the gelding handled the straight on Saturday but if he runs well then the $150,000 Standish Handicap on January 1 over the same course and distance would be on the radar.
King’s Command settled in behind the speed first-up at Moonee Valley and apprentice Ben Thompson had to angle him off the fence at the top of the straight.
“He did a fantastic job and we were really pleased with his first-up effort,” Corstens said.
“He still looked quite big and burly going into that and I thought there was really good improvement to come out of it.
“He has improved and he looks great.”
King’s Command won three straight races, two at Geelong and one at Flemington, last January and Corstens is hoping the lightly raced five-year-old is in for another good summer.
He says King’s Command is a real work in progress who is coming along nicely and expects the best is yet to come.
“He’s been very immature,” he said.
“I know that he’s five but he’s taken ages to really fill into himself.”
Divine Mr Artie is the $4.50 favourite in an early market with Bassett at $4.80, Chiavari at $5.50 at King’s Command at $6.
The Corstens team also has Doom ‘N’ Boom running second-up on Saturday in the Western Health Foundation Handicap (1400m).
Doom ‘N’ Boom, another lightly raced five-year-old gelding, resumed over 1300m when seventh in a race at Sandown and is staying around that distance range second-up with the plan to step him up to more suitable distances as his campaign progresses.
“I’m looking forward to stepping him out over 2000 metres during the summer,” Corstens said.