Dry track debut for in-form three-year-old

Poetic Ray wins at Warrnambool
Poetic Ray ridden by Jarrod Fry wins the HFNL supports The Ripple Effect BM64 Handicap at Warrnambool Racecourse on July 09, 2017 in Warrnambool, Australia. (Bronwyn Nicholson/Racing Photos)

Warrnambool trainer Mitch Freedman believes lightly-raced Poetic Ray has the potential to be a handy stayer.

After three runs on his home track, for two wins, Poetic Ray makes his city debut in the Nicole Slater Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday.

Freedman hopes to get a deeper insight into Poetic Ray’s ability following the gelding’s first attempt at 2000m.

To date Poetic Ray’s three runs have been on heavy ground and Freedman is unsure how he’ll adapt to a firmer surface at Caulfield.

“We’re a little up in the air as to how he’ll handle the dry,” Freedman said.

“We don’t press him too much at home but he’s done well at the races in his few outings.

“I think he’s going to make a handy stayer but whether we have to restrict him to wet ground or not, we’ll find out more on Saturday.”

After finishing out of the money on debut over 1400m, Poetic Ray went on to record a 1400m win before his last-start victory over 1700m earlier this month.

Saturday’s performance will also determine whether Freedman pushes ahead with the lightly raced gelding or turns him out for a break.

“There is the possibility he could go out, but we’ll be guided by the race and how he comes through it,” Freedman said.

Freedman also has last-start Donald winner Honey Magic set to run in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Odds Boost Handicap (1200m) with the filly jumping in grade from a benchmark 58 race on July 8.

“It’s the last metropolitan meeting of the season and we’re throwing her in the deep-end,” Freedman said.

“She’s in good shape and a tough sort of horse that will go there and be competitive in some sort of way.

“Where that puts her, we don’t really know.”

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