Brad Widdup will have a clearer indication of Live To Dream’s potential to campaign in Melbourne when she has her first start for the Hawkesbury trainer on the Kensington track at Randwick.
Widdup acknowledges Monday’s ATC Owner Benefits card Sprint (1100m) is probably too short for the mare but it is still a valuable starting point after two trials.
Live To Dream was transferred from trainer Bjorn Baker in January after accumulating four wins and two placings from 11 starts.
Widdup aims to target fillies and mares races in Melbourne where the distances are more suitable than those on offer in Sydney.
“They cater quite well for fillies and mares down there. It’s a bit harder in Sydney,” he said.
“They have a 1200 and 1400 (metre) races in Melbourne while in Sydney it’s either 1100 or a mile. It’s either too short or too far.”
Widdup does not have high expectations first-up but Live To Dream could still stake a claim to head south for benchmark handicap assignments.
“She’s benchmarked right up. She’s carrying top weight, but I just wanted to get her in a speed sort of race where hopefully she can relax that little bit more instead of going like a bull at a gate,” he said.
“It’s more a wait and see sort of run and go from there. Over the next eight weeks there’s options around for her, fillies and mares races in Melbourne.”
Widdup also saddles up two-year-old colt Purton, who is after his first win in the TAB Handicap (1550m).
“He’s a work in progress and he’s getting out to the right sort of distance,” he said.
Purton had a tough initiation at Wyong last month, when he finished 10 lengths from the winner, but showed improvement with a fourth at Kembla Grange last Saturday week.
“It was a good education run for him, I think he learned a lot out of it,” Widdup said.
Monday’s meeting will be the second on the new Kensington track which was tested in April after being re-surfaced.