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Spieth Gilgai-bound
05 Sep 2017

Trainer Bryce Heys is sticking to his original plan with Spieth (Thorn Park x Stella Livia), and giving the star sprinter five weeks into the Gr.2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Turnbull Stakes Day.

Spieth sat last in a four-horse Gr.3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) field on Saturday, and while he came home strongly, he couldn't reel in the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Redzel.

And while the Racing NSW stewards' report read that Spieth pulled up with a poor post-race recovery and respiratory distress, Heys said that he had a different view of the five-year-old's recovery.

"Good as gold. It's as good as he's come through a first-up run," Heys said on Monday.

"He's got a black eye.

"He's had a vet clearance and was scoped after the race, and his overall condition since the run is as good as he's been."

And Heys clearly subscribes to the 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' theory, with Corey Brown - who was on board in the Concorde on Saturday - retaining the ride for the Gilgai.

Spieth's most recent close shave in a Group One down the straight was in the Black Caviar Lightning, when beaten a lip by the Brown-ridden Terravista, before Heys' charge went on to run ninth in the Newmarket Handicap.

A run in the Gilgai would all-but snuff out the chances of seeing Spieth contest the inaugural A$10 million The Everest, unless he ran on the seven-day back-up. His shortest space between runs so far in his career has been 10 days.

It makes some sense for Heys and the connections to bypass The Everest too, given Spieth is an entire and there is no black type on offer in the new race.

And Heys has his eyes set firmly on redemption in the A$1m Darley Classic on Emirates Stakes Day, when they will get try and get that elusive Group One on the board.

"The view is that he'll be set for the Darley Sprint at the end of the carnival. And the Gilgai was always the race in between that he was going to be programmed to run in," Heys said.

"His overall straight form is still to be respected.

"Off his effort in that particular race last year, you're entitled to have a go at the [Group One] race, I think."