Astronomite’s build up to the Kalgoorlie race round gathers momentum at Belmont on Saturday when he tackles the Amelia Park Beef Handicap (1600m).
Martin Allan has the Kalgoorlie cups treble in his sights after Astronomite returned to the winner’s list with a dominant victory at Belmont two weeks ago.
At his first start for the Ascot-based trainer, Astronomite, finished strongly for jockey Jarrad Noske and defeated Ripper Rio by 1 ¼ lengths over 1600m.
It was an ideal beginning for Allan after he purchased Astronomite from prominent owner-breeder, Bob Peters for $16,000 at the recent Perth winter sale.
“He is not a horse who wins by big margins so I was really pleased how he was pulling away from them over the final 20m,” Allan said.
“If he runs well and as I expect he will go to the Coolgardie Cup and then we can carry on and look at the Boulder Cup and the Kalgoorlie Cup.
“I don’t believe I have improved the horse, but I think he is happy in a different environment and in a smaller stable set up.
“I think this race is actually a little easier than what he faced last time and despite carrying 59kg it won’t worry him.
“He will be putting his best foot forward and I would be surprised if he doesn’t figure in the first two at least.”
In a field of ten starters Astronomite has drawn perfectly in barrier three. Jarrad Noske retains the ride.
The Coolgardie Cup (1760m) is run on September 3, the Boulder Cup (2100m) on September 17 and the Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) on September 24.
Meanwhile Allan believes Tow Rope can land a knockout blow and shed his maiden status in the Tabtouch Maiden (1200m).
The Henny Hughes gelding is knocking on the door of an elusive victory after finishing runner up in two starts this preparation.
At Northam he ran on strongly from seventh on the turn when a nose second to What’s Up Doc.
Last-start at Belmont he led and looked the winner in the straight, but faded over the final 50m.
Allan says the four-year-old, who will jump from barrier two for Jarrad Noske, is on the cusp of a breakthrough win.
“He is a talented horse with a lot of ability who is learning his way,” Allan said.
“He should have won at Northam and lost his way out in front at Belmont.
“He has drawn a gate and should finish in the top two.”
Allan said with the addition of blinkers he expects improvement from I Done It in the Crown Towers Handicap (2000m).