Super Girl (Image: Racing Photos)
Bendigo trainer Josh Julius is bracing for another six months of troubled sleep if his best horse can go to Melbourne on Saturday and win.
The birth of a daughter, Frankie Rose, last October shaved a few more hours sleep off the young trainer's already tight schedule and he expects to lose even more if his potentially aptly-named Super Girl can fly and win a Lexus Melbourne Cup berth via Saturday's Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington.
"Potentially lining up on that first Tuesday in November with a homebred trained out of Bendigo would be pretty cool," Julius said.
"We're just rapt to be fit enough and well enough to be part of the day and so whatever happens happens.
"I have a six-month-old at home and I thought I wasn't getting any sleep let alone knowing that you had that (Lexus Melbourne Cup) spot."
Julius is careful not to get ahead of himself, however, with the five-year-old mate who has won him three races at 2000 metres and beyond. He knows his Lexus Melbourne Cup hope is a slim one, but he is convinced it's a worthwhile fixation.
"Obviously we've got a horse rated 70 and we're not in well at the weights. But how often do you get a restricted chance at a guaranteed spot in a Melbourne Cup like this?" he asked.
Julius, who boasts just 26 career winners, said he and owner/breeder Jim Middlemiss opted to aim high this autumn after Super Girl finished her spring campaign on a winning note over 2400m at Bendigo.
"Myself and Jim, her owner, at the end of last prep we looked at the autumn and threw a few crazy ideas around," Julius said.
"We saw the Ramsden there in May and thought we might be able to target that race.
"Being a five-year-old, its being like a three-year-old in a derby year, it's her last crack at it."
An inside draw meant Super Girl found the worst part of the chopped-up track at Warrnambool in the Cup, but she still managed to secure fourth placing, which has earned her the right to run for the Ramsden.
"When he brought her out of the paddock in January I said that if she is going to be competitive in a Ramsden she had to run well in a Warrnambool Cup a week-and-a-half earlier," he said.
"That's as simple as it was and sure enough it worked out and now we're four days out from our plan of being there.
"I don't think the 2800 metres will be an issue. She's run out strong 2400-metre races and always given a good account of herself.
"She's clean-winded and fit and galloped well this morning - as well at least as she did before the Warrnambool Cup."
If she managed to outgun the likes of favourite King Of Leogrance on Saturday?
"It would be absolutely huge," Julius said.
"She's far and away the best horse we've had in the yard over the time and to be going down towards this race with half a chance, if not a live chance, is just great."