Gatting’s path to the Melbourne spring carnival is gathering momentum.
Impressive Racing reported Gatting had passed his first serious hit out at Pinjarra today (Tuesday).
The six-year-old will trial at Pinjarra on Monday before his first-up run is assessed.
The WA Derby hero will either run in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield or the Idyllic Prince Stakes at Belmont. Both races are run on August 31.
Stephen Miller is taking a cautious approach with his quality galloper Variation.
The War Chant gelding was unextended when second to Masquerade in a 950m trial yesterday (Monday).
Variation, the only horse to win the WA Guineas-Belmont Guineas double, has been plagued by feet issues since his fourth to Great Shot in the 2017 Railway Stakes.
The six-year-old has not raced since a third to Mizlecki in last April’s Old Comrade Stakes (1600m).
“It’s been a long process, but a couple of the feature winter sprints are races to look at,” Miller told The Races WA.
“But it all depends on how he pulls up from the trial.
“Brad (Parnham) said he felt pretty good.
“He might have another trial, but there is no thought of going to Kalgoorlie for the Hannans.”
Dan Morton is considering a change of plans for Man Booker.
The seven-year-old is back in work after a successful Queensland campaign.
He ended his Brisbane trip on a high by winning the Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich.
Man Booker ran fifth in last year’s Railway Stakes (1600m), but Morton says he may bypass the Group 1 race in November.
“I’m thinking about targeting the Winterbottom Stakes,” Morton told The Races WA.
“It’s something I’m tossing around.
“I think he is more effective over 1200 to 1400m.
“He stayed an extra month in Brisbane and has thrived.
“For the first time in about three preparations he went to the paddock without any issues.”
THE AURIE STAR
Material Man, Malibu Style and Reykjavik will give WA strong representation in the Group 3 feature at Flemington on Saturday.
A likely wet track has delayed the slated return of Vega Magic.
The Group 3 Heath (1100m) at Caulfield on August 31 is now looking as the suitable progression for the seven-year-old sprinter.
The race is run at set weights and penalties.
Luke Fernie said the stable was delighted with the run of Pym’s Royale at Belmont last week and his Hannans Handicap campaign is back on track.
Prepared by his father, Peter, the Fernie’s breathed easier after the five-year-old rebounded following a disappointing ninth to Stageman.
Held up for clear running in the straight, Pym’s Royale burst home to finish second to Essential Spice, running the final 600m in 33.12sec.
Pym’s Royale, Little Fish and Moschard, who race at Belmont on Saturday, could give the Fernie camp a solid hand in the Hannans in October.
Meanwhile Fernie (Luke) says Mervyn is in pre-training, but is unsure of the gelding’s medium to long term future.
Mervyn ran some cracking races when last in work including a second to Valour Road.
“He is limited in what races he can go into,” Fernie told The Races WA.
“We are toying with the idea of taking him to Melbourne.
“There is a 950m race at Moonee Valley in October that could be a possibility.”
Fernie is also excited by the arrival of a stable newcomer, Mr Genoa.
The son of Blackfriars won on debut at Northam for Adam Durrant last year before being sold to eastern states buyers.
He finished last in two races for Darren Weir at Bendigo, before winning at Hamilton for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
The four-year transferred to Fernie after running last at Caulfield in June.
“I paid a lot less than what he was originally sold for,” Fernie said.
“They can’t find any issues with him.
“He arrives today (Tuesday), but I won’t be rushing him.
“He looks promising and maybe we will see him later in the season.”
Trainer Simon Miller has ruled out an eastern states trip for his three-year-old filly.
After her impressive win on debut at Belmont last Wednesday, Miller considered taking her to Melbourne for the Group 1 1000 Guineas (1600m).
Miller’s top galloper Whispering Brook ran third to Global Glamour in the 2017 edition of the Group 1 race at Caulfield.
“She will stay home and go down the Champion Fillies path,” Miller told The Races WA.
“It’s probably a lot to ask to go over in her first campaign.”
Trainer Peter Bamford said his stayer was a victim of circumstances in last weekend’s Port Hedland Cup (2200m).
Sent out the odds on favourite after his eight length romp in the Roebourne Cup (2200m), Swift Platinum ran eighth.
“He was held up at a vital stage,” Bamford told The Races WA.
“He got caught behind a tiring horse which happened to be his stable mate Greco.
“But that’s racing and we move on.
“He’s off to Broome for next week’s Cup.
“Greco jarred up after the run and is going back to Carnarvon.”