Melbourne spring debut for Wyong trainer

Echo Effect is ready to live up to his trainer’s high opinion when he lines up in a Group Three race as Kristen Buchanan’s first Melbourne runner.

Buchanan, who trains at Wyong on the NSW Central Coast, hand-picked Saturday’s Moonga Stakes (1400m) as the ideal race as a measuring stick for the talented gelding.

“I feel he’s well and truly up to the quality and the race programmed well for him,” Buchanan said.

Echo Effect will be racing for the 11th time on Saturday having registered three wins on country and provincial NSW tracks.

He was placed in Group Two company last autumn, running second to Man From Uncle in the Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill.

He had one more start before injury ended his campaign and thwarted plans to run in the Randwick Guineas.

“He had a foot abscess towards the end of his last campaign,” Buchanan said.

“It was a matter of when was he ready to come back from the paddock and what he would be ready for and this was one of the options we had pencilled in for him.”

Since his return, Buchanan has changed Echo Effect’s pattern in an effort to stop him over-racing.

She was encouraged by the way Echo Effect finished off his last start over 1200m and he has Damien Oliver on board on Saturday.

“We were in touch about the horse since he was nominated for the Randwick Guineas,” Buchanan said.

“I’ve been very happy with the riders I’ve had on before but I’m thrilled to have Damien on him.”

Oliver’s expertise will also help Buchanan decide whether she takes Echo Effect to Perth for the Group One Railway Stakes at Ascot.

“Whether that’s within his scope this preparation I don’t know but Damien’s the man,” Buchanan said.

“He can tell me if I’m crazy and whether I need to adjust my plans, but if you don’t enter, you can’t go.”

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