Cindy Alderson is looking forward to testing the in-form Rewarding Effort beyond a mile for the first time at Caulfield, convinced it can open up the options for the promising gelding.
Rewarding Effort clashes with another in-form horse, import Plein Ciel, in Saturday’s Swettenham Stud Summer Championships Heat 7 (1800m).
Rewarding Effort has won his past two starts decisively at Mornington and Sandown while Plein Ciel is unbeaten in his three Australian outings.
Both Rewarding Effort’s recent wins in benchmark races have been over 1600m and Saturday’s race will provide a guide to the four-year-old’s future.
“I think he will be suited to it,” Alderson said, adding she would like to get him up to 2000m in the future.
“He’s a very relaxed horse during the run and I think that if he still has that stamina at the end and the turn of foot he’s shown in those two (1600m) races then I think he’ll be pretty competitive over 1800.
“I think he’s definitely Saturday city class and maybe even a little better than that with time.
“Saturday’s race will give us a better guide. He’s got to be able to run those sorts of trips to probably get into black-type racing I think.”
Rewarding Effort, winner of four of his 11 starts, was bred by Alderson’s mother Lynne and is by Reward For Effort out of Who’s In Charge.
“He’s a half-brother to the mare we train, Manageress, and the dam Who’s In Charge has always thrown horses of nice ability,” Alderson said.
“But he’s probably the one who has shown the most out of all of them so far.”
Alderson said Rewarding Effort appeared to be thriving heading into Saturday.
“He looks bright and happy so I can’t really fault him,” she said.
Rewarding Effort is on the second line of betting at $4.80 with the Darren Weir-trained Plein Ciel at $2.30 in the field of 12.
While Plein Ciel and Rewarding Effort are the in-form runners, Alderson believes there is also depth to the race with the likes of Cool Chap ($6.50) and Manapine.
Alderson also has last-start winner Fudged entered for Saturday’s meeting but said the filly would probably bypass the Ian Morrison Handicap (1700m) and instead head to a suitable race at Sandown next Wednesday.
“She’s just drawn a bit of an awkward barrier against the older horses,” Alderson said.