Trainer Brett Cavanough admits he’s in two minds what to do with The Kosciuszko bound sprinter Fender in Saturday’s Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
“Every time I find a negative, I find a positive,” he says.
For Cavanough the positives are easy to assess.
The Scone-trainer knows he’s got a horse in top form with his lightly-raced sprinter boasting a perfect record of four wins from four starts, including a last start success in Saturday grade.
Fender’s 54kg impost on Saturday adds further appeal but the outsider draw in barrier 11 has Cavanough scratching his head, particularly now he knows Fender will take his place in the The Kosciuszko next month.
He wants to give Fender another run before the $1.3 million country feature at Randwick on October 17 and was hoping the Theo Marks would provide the solution.
“It can be one of the best races going around but I just think there are a few holes in it this year,” Cavanough said.
“As you grade forward, looking at his numbers if he wins in an 80 rater you are going to have to look at Listed races with him.
“We might be going in a little bit quick to a Group 2 but the horse is very well and the Kosciuszko is only five weeks away.
“I wanted to get a run into him and if he is fit and well on Saturday morning I will run him although I am not happy to run him from 11 so hope there are a few scratchings.
“But with rain, things are starting to turn up for us and there is no speed in the race.”
Cavanough said he would have been ‘more bullish’ about Fender’s chances had the four-year-old drawn a gate.
He will make a decision late on Friday afternoon or early Saturday morning about whether Fender will run in the Theo Marks.
It’s already been a big week for Cavanough’s stable with Fender and stablemate It’s Me locked into slots for The Kosciuszko.
“Fender was probably first in negotiations overall but the slot holders are a bunch of school teachers so it took a while to get into the race,” Cavanough said.
“It’s got a lot of hype around the race now so it is good to have him and It’s Me in there.”
Fender remains as one of the outsiders in Theo Marks markets at $21 where he will be ridden by Jean Van Overmeire.
Originally published asKosciuszko hope could be Theo Marks knockout
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