An exceptional public holiday win has convinced trainer Greg Hickman the timing is right for Top Striker to have a crack at Saturday grade.
Top Striker carried 60.5kg to victory at Warwick Farm during the October 3 public holiday meeting.
He put the race away halfway down the straight and was eased down when no serious challenger emerged.
“I thought the run last time was exceptional,” Hickman said.
Top Striker was nominated for benchmark races over 1200m and 1000m, but the horse’s tendency to over-race has Hickman sticking to the shorter course at Randwick on Saturday.
“He just tries to make it a bit hard for everybody,” Hickman said.
“He’s not the easiest horse to ride, hence why we’ve come back to 1000 metres.
“With a bit more pace hopefully he doesn’t pull his head off, learns to relax and goes straight.”
Jason Collett, who rode a feature race double at Randwick last Saturday, will have the task of controlling Top Striker.
The gelding has now won and filled the minor placing five times apiece from his from 14 starts.
With his rating boosted following the Warwick Farm win, Top Striker will again be under 60.5kg when he races in the $100,000 race on Saturday.
“He’s up to it. He’s won five races and the owners are getting itchy to go to town on Saturday,” Hickman said.
Citations will race over 1400m at the same meeting as the horse gradually builds towards the middle-distance races in which he was competitive last preparation.
“We’re keeping him nice and fresh and maybe we might pick up one along the way,” Hickman said.
Stable star Private Secretary ran seventh in the Group One Robert Sangster Classic in April, but Hickman has been disappointed with her return after fshe finished last in fields of 10 in two barrier trials.
“She’s a really nice horse but we’ve just got to get her back on track,” Hickman said.
“I thought she might have trialled better than she did so we’re just adjusting a few things.”
If the lightly raced seven-year-old can prove she deserves her place, Hickman will take her to Flemington for the Group Three Begonia Belle Stakes on October 29.
“It will be a light spring. The main aim is try to get her back into gear for the Magic Millions,” he said.