Having had a rapid-fire introduction to racing, Ausbred Rising Sun kicks off his latest preparation at Rosehill with trainer Brad Widdup keeping an open mind on where the four-year-old ends up.
The gelding made huge inroads at his initial campaign, winning on debut at Newcastle before contesting the Rosehill Guineas at just his fifth start.
Sandwiched in between was an interstate trip to Melbourne where he placed in the Group 2 Autumn Classic, an experience Widdup was happy he gave the horse.
“He did a good job and then I probably went a couple of races too far, but it’s hard when they’re racing well and those races are around,” Widdup said, referencing Ausbred Rising Sun’s unplaced efforts in the Guineas and Tulloch Stakes.
“I’m glad we stuck him on a float down to Melbourne and did a few things like that.
“He probably needs another trip or two like that this time in just for the future.”
Those seasoning experiences are expected to hold Ausbred Rising Sun in good stead as he prepares to return for his second racing campaign in Saturday’s TAB Handicap (1500m).
While he won his most recent barrier trial, Widdup says the gelding is likely to settle back in the field and his chances will hinge on race tempo and the pattern of the day.
“I haven’t trained him right up for it, but he had a strong trial the other day so it wouldn’t surprise if he ran a race,” Widdup said.
“I’d say we will be in the second half of the field so that might dictate his performance. It will depend on how the track is playing.
“He’s not a big horse but he has matured a bit for sure. He’s still got a bit to go, but he’s definitely a lot mentally better than what he was last prep.”
Widdup’s immediate focus will be on lifting Ausbred Rising Sun’s current benchmark rating of 76 in the hope he can qualify for some of the late-spring features.
While no specific target has been set, Widdup says a race like The Gong could come on the radar if the horse’s form warrants it.
“He’s got to go through his benchmarks before that, which is why I’ve got him in now, to see if I can win a race or two and get his benchmark up a bit,” Widdup said.
With four early scratchings from Saturday’s race, Ausbred Rising Sun is being kept safe in betting at $6 with the Chris Waller-trained Gracilistyla a $3.20 favourite.
– RAS NewsWire