Esperance and jockey Craig Williams (Image: Racing Photos)
Caulfield Guineas fancy Esperance wasn't out to set the world on fire in a Flemington jumpout on Friday morning, as the unbeaten gelding tuned up for his next start on Saturday week.
That next start is likely to be the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) with Kerrin McEvoy down from Sydney to ride both him and superstar Hartnell in the G1 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) for the Godolphin camp, although assistant trainer David Charles said Esperance would be nominated for both the six-furlong race and the Listed Exford Plate (1400m).
Esperance jumped out over 800m on the steeple grass at Headquarters, and finished not far off the Mike Moroney-trained Radipole - the jumpout clocked at 46.92 seconds - and was only asked to do a bit of motoring late by Craig Williams.
WATCH: Esperance's jumpout on Friday (royal blue)
"We're very happy with his jumpout," Charles said on Friday.
"It's a month between runs. James [Cummings] thought it'd be a good idea to give him a quiet trial preceding his run on the 16th at Flemington.
"Craig [Williams] commented that he thinks he's improved. His manners are good. The idea was to settle back in the trial, and give him a trial.
"[Saturday week is] a jump in class from a mid-weeker at Sandown, but extremely happy with how the horse has come through."
Esperance is $15 for the G1 Guineas on October 14.
McEvoy will ride Hartnell in the PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes, aiming to win his first G1 for Sheikh Mohammed since Guelph in the 2013 Thousand Guineas, and Charles reported the two-time G1 winner is on track for Saturday week.
"He hasn't put a foot wrong since his win at Caulfield," Charles added.
"Once again it was an opportunity to go to The Valley on Tuesday, a month between runs, and give him a nice easy gallop.
"He'll have a gallop next week, and we'll head towards the Makybe Diva in great order."