Trainer Simon Foster will chart new territory when he saddles Indigo Sun in the T & V Fencing Handicap (1705m) at Bunbury on Wednesday.
The Bunbury horseman is branching out on his own after spending three years as private trainer to Bunbury breeder-owners, Dan and Julie Love.
Foster was born in New Zealand, raised in Melbourne, rode in Adelaide and Sydney before taking up training duties on the Gold Coast.
He enjoyed feature race glory when he prepared Trusted Partner to win the Listed Lightning Stakes at Eagle Farm before moving to Bunbury in 2012.
In his first season he made an immediate impact when he was crowned Leading Bunbury Trainer and his gelding Fa’em won Bunbury’s Leading Horse of the year.
Foster’s profile rose further after Fanicio won the Boulder Cup and Prentice scored a massive boilover at big odds in the Sires’ Produce Stakes.
Indigo Sun is in search of his second straight win after he finished powerfully to chase down Josie’s Babe over 1690m at Bunbury on April 8.
The Mount Nelson gelding has drawn the widest gate against a field of nine rivals that includes Blitzem Someday for trainer, Shane Quilty.
The three-year-old posted a smart maiden win at Albany and ran a brave second to Belle La Vie when beaten a nose in last month’s Breeders’ Classic (1400m) at Bunbury.
The Natural Blitz gelding will relish a drop in grade after running fourth to Properantes in the Listed Raconteur Stakes (1500m) at Ascot a fortnight ago.
He carries 56.5kg with the claim of Jordan Turner and from a good gate in barrier five he is certain to attract the support of punters.
Foster said he was hopeful that Indigo Sun would show further signs of improvement after adopting a change of plans last fortnight
The four-year-old posted a maiden win at Bunbury last November but struggled to have an impact at his next seven starts over longer ground.
Foster believes he has found the key to Indigo Sun and says the gelding, who will be ridden by apprentice, Emma Stent, could pose a threat.
“It was my fault because I was trying to turn him into a stayer,” said Foster.
“I thought the way he was finishing his races he would get over ground.
“He would get back and run on but I don’t think he will get past a strong 1800m.
“The wet track helped him the other day.
“Blitzem Someday looks hard to beat but you have to be mindful of three-year-olds coming back against older horse.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli