Daniel Stackhouse returns to scale with Sircconi after winning the Winter Championship Series Final.
After dominating the recent Listed Winter Championship Series Final, five-year-old gelding Sircconi is set to head back to Flemington to chase another win over the course and distance.
Sircconi made a one-act affair of the Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) last Saturday week, winning by four lengths.
It gave former jockey Nick Ryan his first stakes win as a trainer and he believes the way the gelding has come through that race suggests he is on track to turn in another bold performance in Saturday’s 1600m handicap.
“I was actually surprised how well he pulled up and you wouldn’t have really known he had had a run,” Ryan said.
“He had a maintenance gallop this morning at Caulfield and worked terrific.
“If the same horse shows up on Saturday, and he’s really bright and well, I’d say he’s going to be awfully hard to beat again.”
The Winter Championship Final was Sirconni’s fourth win from 28 starts and first victory since the 2018 Group Three Moonga Stakes at The Valley when in the care of trainer John Sadler.
As a two-year-old he won the Group Two Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington when trained by Peter Morgan.
All going well, Ryan plans to give Sircconi a freshen up after Saturday and target the Group Two PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield four weeks later.
Ryan felt he had Sircconi in really good order for the Winter Championship Series Final and said he was delighted for the horse and his connections to see him perform so well.
“There’s a few times where I’ve galloped him and he’s galloped like a Group One horse,” Ryan said.
“He’s a very good horse when he’s right.
“He’s had a lot of minor little issues throughout this preparation.
“He’s been in work for a long time. He had a foot abscess, he got a virus and he just had a few niggles here and there.”
Sircconi had 56kg last start and jumps to 62kg for Saturday’s race, with Ryan opting to stick with jockey Daniel Stackhouse rather than go for an apprentice and utilise a claim to offset the big weight.
“Daniel Stackhouse has really clicked with the horse and he’s a big, strong horse,” Ryan said.
“I think he’ll carry the weight.”
The Danny O’Brien-trained Plein Ciel, who was fourth as favourite in the Winter Championship Series Final, has also been given 62kg in the race which has attracted 23 nominations.