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Spieth on track for Gilgai
02 Oct 2017

There's a definite danger a few horses will fly under the radar going into Saturday's Turnbull Stakes meeting at Flemington given the presence of Winx, but that doesn't bother trainer Bryce Heys one bit with his stable star Spieth (Thorn Park x Stella Livia).

Heys' plan to run Spieth second-up in the Gilgai Stakes remains well-and-truly on, the Warwick Farm-based trainer having made his bed on bypassing The Everest early in the piece - and focussing on the traditional path towards the Gr.1 Darley Classic on Emirates Stakes Day.

Spieth has an enviable straight-track record, with a win and two Group One runner-up finishes from four starts there. The five-year-old was just a whisker away from two victories at the top level too, having been denied in last year's Darley and this year's Black Caviar Lightning.

"I'm looking forward to getting him down there, not sure what's going to be in the race, but looking forward to getting him back to the races for sure," Heys said prior to the release of nominations on Monday.

"Probably not ideal [if there was rain], haven't thought about it too much at the moment. What will be, will be. We've got to run really. It's always been the plan to run in the Gilgai, so away we go.

As it stands, up to 10mm of rain is forecast for Melbourne on Friday, but Flemington is renowned for its stellar drainage system, so in all likelihood it won't be wet come Saturday.

Regarding their decision to opt out of The Everest contention early, Heys added: "I said before he ran first up it was more probable than not he'd be in the Gilgai second-up.

"It was always the plan to get a first-up run into him early.

"The option of The Everest had to be kept open for obvious reasons, but pretty much when a deal wasn't done the week before he ran first-up or the week after, we're not changing a horse's preparation around.

"It's been geared around running well in the Gilgai, which will pave the way to run well again in the Darley - that's been the objective for him."

Corey Brown was booked weeks out for Spieth's Gilgai run, with the Thorn Park entire making his way to Flemington on Monday night.

And asked about the effect of Winx on the coverage of Saturday's card, Heys said the mighty mare can hog the limelight: "More than happy to fly under the radar!" -racing.com