Midships (middle) winning the Golden Topaz (Image: Racing Photos)
In-form trainer David Brideoake will take lightly raced four-year-old Midships to Flemington on Saturday for the Trevor Clarke Handicap as his sole representative across the nine-race card.
Midships was one of the stars of the Swan Hill Carnival, taking out the Golden Topaz, and has won both of his starts this time in.
"I think he's just matured," Brideoake said.
"He's been a horse that's taken a while. I think just keeping him fresh has been the key, and his strength is just so much better this time through, but I just think a 1000-metre (race) might be a touch on the short side."
While Brideoake has his reservations about the distance of Saturday's contest for Midships, he has no concerns about him handling the straight course at Headquarters.
"I reckon he goes as straight as an arrow, I don't think there will be any issue at all, but I sort of thought, as the season goes on, his pet distance looks like it's six furlongs, and I was very keen to give him a run here just to get him accustomed to the straight, because I think there's a chance of him getting a race there over six furlongs at some stage," he said.
Brideoake was also pleased to report that last Saturday's Sir John Monash Stakes winner, Red Can Man, had emerged from the race 'in really good shape'.
"He'll gallop in the morning, do a bit of work in the morning, I'm happy with him," he said.
The Mornington-based trainer intends to run Red Can Man in the Bletchingly Stakes next week, provided that the track isn't too wet, before pressing on to the P.B. Lawrence Stakes and potentially the Memsie Stakes.
"I don't like the forecast much for next week, but on the positive side of things, the horse has absolutely bounced out of the race and I'm prepared to say that if we get the track we want, I think he'll improve a little," Brideoake said.
Brideoake's stable has enjoyed an outstanding run of form, with 17 winners from his past 50 runners, including victories at Ballarat and Sandown this week.
"We're having a very good run," Brideoake said.
"The crew went out on Saturday night last week after Red Can Man, a bit of a celebration, and I said to everyone, 'Well, just enjoy it, because we have good runs and that's a sign that the team's going really well, and appreciate it while it's here, because you know how the business is, it's up and down a little' and we've had a really good run of form lately, I think five winners in the last week."