Ballarat horseman Simon Morrish has a theory that every time you race a horse you move it one run closer to retirement.
Because of that Morrish doesn’t want to waste any unnecessary races.
Morrish has stayer Nothin’like Albert engaged in the Quayclean Handicap (2400m) at Sandown on Wednesday.
Nothin’like Albert is jumping from 1600 metres but Morrish reasons it is pointless running him over anything shorter.
After 12 months off, Nothin’like Albert resumed with a third over 1600m at Ballarat last month in a run that pleased his trainer.
A half-brother to the Morrish-trained Mr Journeyman, Nothin’like Albert is nothing like his elder sibling who has collected a number of country Cups and whose best distance is around 1600m.
“He’s the classic old New Zealand stayer,” Morrish said.
“He’s a big one-paced stayer and first-up he kept grinding away.
“If it had been 1800 metres he might have run second but he would never have beaten the winner.
“But after a year off and first-up at the mile, it was a satisfactory return.”
Morrish said Nothin’like Albert was feeling his legs at the end of his last campaign.
He reasoned that as Nothin’like Albert is a big striding galloper he would not be suited on wet tracks during the winter and has instead been kept fit with beach work and dressage.
Morrish says Nothin’like Albert has had the grounding to jump from 1600m to 2400m.
“Last preparation we jumped him from a mile (1600m) to the 2200 (metres) and he won at Ballarat but if that had been a 2400 metre race he would have won by a margin,” Morrish said.
“And really it’s a waste of time racing him in anything shorter.
“There is one thing the European trainers have taught us over the years and that is to use the facilities to get the horses out to their right journeys.
“And we have those facilities here at Ballarat.”