After Sirius Suspect’s victory in the Santa Ana Lane Sprint Series Final last start, trainer Saab Hasan singled out track-walker Peter Ellis for sticking by him during a lean two years.
But that persistence is starting to pay off because the eight-year-old is a $6.50 winning chance with bet365.com.au heading into the $200,000 Aurie’s Star Handicap over 1200m on Saturday.
The evergreen gelding also deserves respect for never giving up, with nine wins from 38 starts heading into the feature at Flemington.
“I reckon he’s the one to beat. He’ll look to control the speed and if they’re genuine group horses they can beat him if they can,” Hasan told horsebetting.com.au.
“He’ll control the tempo from the outset and then we’ll see what happens 600m out.
“He’s won nine races and not many horses can do that, can they?
“So he’s been a terrific horse for us.”
Sirius Suspect’s last-start victory in the Santa Ana Lane Sprint Series Final was also over 1200m at Flemington on July 2.
It was the first time he saluted since another breakthrough achievement when he claimed the $160,000 Standish Handicap at the same venue on January 1, 2021.
That was his maiden Group win.
Hasan said how much of a team effort it was to help Sirius Suspect win by a length after his last start, particularly with him moving to the Crown Valley Lodge pre-training facility in Tabilk.
But all the hard work the passionate horse conditioner and his staff put in is starting to bring joy across his stables in country Victoria and Chicquita Lodge at Flemington.
“It’s the love of the animal and that’s what we do it for, and they reward us in multiple ways,” Hasan said.
“They don’t always have to win. Having a runner in a group race is exciting and having a runner in any race is exciting.
“That’s what this game is all about. It’s about the excitement and the thrill of it, the chase.
“And then when it comes off it’s just exhilarating.”
Sirius Suspect won from an ideal barrier four last start, Hasan saying post-race that it suited him because he wanted jockey Ethan Brown to attack from the inside.
Brown will also pilot the gelding today, but from barrier six in a seven-horse field.
Starting wide in the feature sprint after being freshened for a month won’t bother Hasan.
“No, not at all. He’s ready to go and I’m very happy with him,” he said.
“He’ll run well. He’s super. I think I’ve got him pretty well.”
Sirius Suspect’s Odds In The Aurie’s Star Handicap
Race 5 – #4 Sirius Suspect (6)
8yo Gelding | T: Saab Hasan | J: Ethan Brown (54kg)