Wagga trainer David Heywood admits sprinter Calke Abbey is not quite back to his best, but warns against writing him off for the feature sprint at Albury on Thursday.
The six-year old has been given 59kg for the Oaks Day Sprint over 1175m but gets a four-kilo allowance with in-form apprentice Stacey Metcalfe taking the ride.
“He's going okay but he’s not back to where he was when he was just beaten in the Town Plate,” Heywood said.
“My main concern is the weight. They’re just cruelling the better horses around here.”
Calke Abbey was a perennial bridesmaid last campaign, placing in six of eight starts.
Third up from a spell, the gelding has drawn the outside in an eight-horse field.
The Brett Cavanough-trained Lampedusa will start favourite despite a 60kg impost.
“He goes good, he beat us at Leeton (in the Lilly Pilly Cup), but this horse (Calke Abbey) goes good too, don’t worry.”
Lampedusa goes good, but this horse (Calke Abbey) goes good too, don’t worry.- Trainer David Heywood
Heywood is targeting the $20,000 Stan Sadleir Stakes over 1200m at Wagga on November 19.
To avoid missing a run in case of rain at Albury, Calke Abbey is also entered at Canterbury on Saturday.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.