Lance O'Sullivan, who trains in partnership with Andrew Scott, has little expectation of his talented stayer Charles Road as he lights a fuse on another Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) campaign in Sydney tomorrow.
The Matamata trainer is delighted with Charles Road's progress ahead of the Spring Preview Handicap (1400m) at Randwick's Kensington track but doesn't expect him to trouble the main chances in a race well short of his best distance.
"Andrew and I are really pleased with him. He's probably carrying a little more condition than he normally would be going into his first-up run but we have to be running him this weekend," O'Sullivan said.
"He's done work on (owner) David Archer's pre-training farm and going to the track at Pukekohe so he's certainly had the amount of work required to get to his first race.
"He has his attendant Leanne Cox looking after him at Randwick and he really does thrive on the one-on-one attention."
"He's been allocated 60 kilos. We've decided not to claim. We're putting a jockey (Sam Clipperton) on that we're hoping will stick with him this preparation.
"His main target is the Metropolitan Handicap (Gr.1, 2400m), at Randwick on October 6, and we think he can be competitive in that.
"It would be a great thrill to see him in another Melbourne Cup. He was seventh last year and for Andrew and I watching him hit the front at the 300m was probably the greatest thrill we've had as trainers.
Closer to home, O'Sullivan and Scott will saddle three runners at Te Rapa — Andoyas, Tweedledee and Because.
"Because is probably our best chance. He was a shade unlucky last time but put up a big performance."
- NZ Racing Desk