Eagle Farm trainer Barry Baldwin is more than happy with The Candy Man after his first appearance since a spell in a barrier trial.
The Candy Man ran last in an 840m-heat won by the unbeaten Zoustyle at Doomben last Tuesday.
Zoustyle put nine lengths on the runner-up in the trial but Baldwin was not concerned and said he was happy with The Candy Man who won seven races in a row before being unplaced in the Brisbane Cup in June.
“Zoustyle is probably the best horse in Queensland and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a top performer in Sydney this spring,” Baldwin said.
“The Candy Man got beaten three lengths by the second horse so his trial was good.
“It was mainly to make certain that he hadn’t got back to his old habit of standing in the barriers but he jumped fine so that was one worry out of the way.”
The Candy Man will resume in an open handicap over 1200m at Eagle Farm on September 7.
“I am also hoping to give him a jump-out before then so he should be ready for the race. That gives him about 12 days to the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle,” Baldwin said.
“From there hopefully will be able to tackle the Epsom Handicap at Randwick a fortnight later.”
The Baldwin-trained Lady Appleton is likely to make the trip south with The Candy Man.
Lady Appleton won at the Gold Coast on Saturday and her trainer rates her highly.
“We have had her in the box next to The Candy Man and they are good mates. She can travel away with him as a companion and have a run at Newcastle,” Baldwin said.
The Candy Man and Lady Appleton both race in the colours of Lucky Pippos who inherited them from his brother, the late George Pippos, who raced the champion Gunsynd.