This time last year Material Man was on the verge of victory in the Group 3 Belmont Sprint and a winter campaign where he took all before him.
Fast forward to now, the tough WA galloper is poised to run first-up in next Saturday’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm, according to new trainer Pat Carey.
Material Man was transferred to Carey’s Mornington stables earlier this month, following his autumn campaign in Melbourne for Justin Warwick.
The gelding had mixed fortunes during the campaign, which culminated in a 10th placing in the inaugural All Star Mile.
Carey said the seven-year-old was still adjusting to his new surroundings, but was happy enough to target next week’s $1.5 million event.
“He’s been a great horse out in the west,” Carey told TABradio.
“He’s settled in well over here.
“It’s a short run up to this type of race and I’m still learning about this horse.
“We can’t ignore his good record.”
Material Man was among 41 first acceptances for the Stradbroke yesterday, alongside fellow WA gallopers Quilista and Man Booker.
The Bostonian, who took out the two key lead up races to the Stradbroke in the Doomben 10,000 and Kingsford Smith Cup, is the 57kg topweight for the event.
Material Man has 55kg, alongside Group 1 winner Manuel.
Carey said Material Man still had a few obstacles to overcome in order to board the flight to Queensland next Tuesday.
“He’s had a jump out the reverse way,” he said.
“He’s done a couple of pieces of nice work with the wish of the connections to present him into the race fresh.
“Everything has got to go right for the horse to be considered.”
Material Man is rated a $26 chance for the Stradbroke with TABtouch.
The Bostonian heads up the market at $6, while Trekking is the only other runner in single figures at $8.
Meanwhile, the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable are confident Bam’s On Fire can make it three wins in a row when she lines up in an 1100m three-year-old fillies Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday.
Co-trainer Eustace said he expected the filly to be tough to beat with Dwayne Dunn on board.
“I think she goes there spot on,” he told TABradio.
“It’s the obvious race for her after her last win.
“She’s definitely improved, so we will be going there full of confidence.
“Draw is not ideal, but the rail is out and Dwayne is on, so I’m sure he’ll be able to work it out.”