Trainer John Moloney is hoping Sunday Pray can carry his winning form to a higher grade when he lines up at Caulfield.
A last-start winner of a midweek handicap at Sandown on April 11, Sunday Pray steps up to Saturday company at his home track.
Moloney is looking forward to the challenge after Sunday Pray carried 58kg to an all-the-way win over 1600m, the same distance as Saturday, at his most recent outing.
He drops to 54kg and will again be ridden by Ben Thompson who has partnered the gelding in three of his past four starts.
“He is pretty consistent and had been running well so to see him do it from the top to the tail last time was pretty pleasing,” Moloney said.
“The favourite sat on his back and had the chance to beat him if he was good enough but our horse was strong all the way to the line.
“It’s definitely a rise in class and the handicap tells you that as he’s down to 54 kilograms.
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“But I think we’re well-placed under the handicap conditions seeing the weight against the other horses.
“They’ll have to carry their weight at the top, unless they claim.”
Moloney said while the temptation was there to claim and take some more weight off the back of Sunday Pray, they were happy to stick with Thompson.
“He’s been riding him and having quite a bit of luck so he can ride him again,” Moloney said.
The trainer has no grand plans for Sunday Pray saying victory would be a nice progression from country success to a midweek city win to Saturday company where he will be racing for a $55,000 winner’s cheque.
“We’re not aiming too high but if we could get a Saturday win that would be fantastic,” Moloney said.
“His rating is good for the race.
“He’s a 77 rater in a 90 race, but that’s what gives you the handicap, so hopefully we can use it.”