David Brideoake has a healthy opinion of debut maiden winner Apiata but where he kicks off his spring campaign is all about scratchings.
Apiata is an acceptor at Moonee Valley on Friday night and also at Caulfield on Saturday.
Brideoake favours a start on Friday night in the Quest Moonee Valley Plate rather than the Dream Thoroughbreds Handicap on Saturday.
But Apiata is the third emergency in Friday night’s race.
“If he gets a run we’ll run him at Moonee Valley but at this stage it looks like we’re running at Caulfield,” Brideoake said.
Apiata is part-owned by Peter Moody who last week ended his six month cobalt suspension before announcing on Twitter that he is now a retired trainer.
The colt created a good impression on Brideoake with his debut win in a maiden race at Ballarat in June.
“He’s a nice horse and he’s in good shape,” Brideoake said.
“It’s a big step for him but it’s the time of the year when they have to take the big steps.
“He’s done nothing in the lead-up to suggest that he won’t measure up.
“He’s trialled well and he was good last preparation and taken a little maturity from his win last time.”
Brideoake said both races were a big step up in grade, especially the Moonee Valley contest, which he described as being just short of Group company.
Looking further ahead in the spring, Brideoake hasn’t made any specific plans.
“We’ll see how he goes this weekend and we’ll reassess then,” Brideoake said.
Apiata is rated an $11 chance on Friday night and $7 in an open race on Saturday.
Luke Nolen has been booked for the ride on Friday night and Dwayne Dunn, who rode the colt to victory at Caulfield, for Saturday.