Bendigo trainer Joshua Julius is taking advantage of a Christmas break in local sport to run Dubai King at Sandown.
Dubai King chases a third straight win when he runs the Ladbrokes Up For The Challenge Handicap on Saturday.
Most Saturdays, Julius plays cricket in the local Bendigo competition.
“We’ve got the Christmas break at the moment so I can get to the races on Saturday and it doesn’t cause an issue,” Julius said.
“But the guys know racing always comes first.
“I don’t play in division one. I play in the seconds and those guys know my availability.”
Dubai King gave Julius his first city winner when successful at Moonee Valley last month before backing up to score at Bendigo on November 30.
Now Julius is chasing his first Saturday city victory at the track where his sister Melissa scored her first city win as a jockey on Wednesday.
Melissa rode Dubai King to victory at his most recent start, but her brother said she needed more midweek experience before being allowed to ride at Saturday meetings.
Julius is concerned with Dubai King’s outside draw and is hoping for a few scratchings and has also accepted at Morphettville on Monday as a back-up option.
“He races pretty well fresh and it’s three weeks between runs so that’s not going to hurt him,” Julius said.
“He’s drawn a bit awkwardly but he’s raced up to that grade now so he’s got to keep his form going.”
Growing up in Warrnambool, Julius has a family history steeped in racing but he was encouraged to steer away from it in his younger years.
Julius now has six of his own horses in work while pre-training another 13 after deciding to set up in Bendigo where his major clients are local syndicates.
“With Darren Weir dominating down at Warrnambool and with young fellas like Daniel Bowman and Mitch Freedman down there as well it limited my options of growing my business,” Julius said.
“My main business is a lot of pre-training for a couple of syndication groups and those ones usually end up with Weir.”