Trainer Matt Laurie is hoping Duke Of Neworleans will capitalise on a return to the city after a breakthrough win at Sale last start.
Laurie said the three-year-old gelding, who won by eight lengths on debut at Geelong last December before back-to-back placings as short-priced favourite, will appreciate the wet conditions.
Duke Of Neworleans was beaten first-up at Moe but Laurie credited the poor performance to trainer error.
“I put blinkers on him which was the wrong call,” Laurie said.
“He’s quite a lazy trackworker, I often use some head gear in training but it backfired.
“We took them off (last start), rode him a lot quieter and he was able to get over the top in a pretty weak race but it was a nice effort.”
Duke Of Neworleans came from last to win at Sale but Laurie said similar tactics would not necessarily be the norm for the son of Hallowed Crown.
“I’m not sure how much of a turn of foot he’s got, he continues to build and sustain a gallop,” Laurie said.
“I felt it was worthwhile giving him a chance at this grade, especially given the wet track.”
Laurie will also saddle up I Am Someone, an $81 chance in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m), at Caulfield.
Stable star Portland Sky has returned to work and impressed Laurie ahead of a potentially big spring.
The Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner and future stallion prospect will trial twice next month before a possible resumption in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes at The Valley on September 4.
Should the Deep Field colt, who ran second in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes on March 19, not gain an Everest slot the Manikato looms large.
“He’s probably ahead of where he needs to be,” Laurie said.
“We’ll probably get him to a point and back off him … he’s a beauty, only had eight starts and got a great chance to build on what he’s done so far.
“He’s going to be a good acquisition to whatever stud he ends up at in the future but we’re hoping to build on his record.”
Originally published asDuke chasing back-to-back wins
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