Grafton Guineas winner Braces will take the next step towards a reappearance at the Northern Rivers carnival in a benchmark race at Canterbury.
Braces will come up against his Greg Hickman-trained stablemate Major Major in Wednesday’s 1900m-benchmark 72 handicap.
Another stablemate, Dream Folk, was topweight for the race but will instead run at Randwick on Saturday.
Braces has finished a close second and a solid fourth at his past two starts and Hickman has engaged leading rider James McDonald for the Canterbury race.
“I thought he was a bit disappointing the other day when he ran fourth but he does like the sting out of the ground so he gets that in his favour,” Hickman said.
“We definitely want to take him back to Grafton, this time for the Cup over 2300 metres.”
The Grafton carnival is run on July 13 and 14 with the Cup, also on the agenda for Dream Folk, on the second day.
While he doesn’t have such ambitions for Major Major, Hickman believes he can continue to pay his way.
“I think Major Major has improved and probably should have won his last start instead of running fourth.
“It’s the right time of the year for him in some of the weaker races on wet tracks.”
Major Major is backing up from Gosford last Thursday when his momentum was halted in the straight.
Former Brisbane apprentice Matthew McGillivray, who has joined John Sargent at Randwick, rides Major Major and the Hickman-trained Another Weapon in the 1100m-maiden for two-year-olds.
“Another Weapon has improved lengths from his last start,” Hickman said.
“He wasn’t far away and it’s good to get him to the races and get some more experience.
“I think he can run well.”
Another Weapon finished fifth at Canterbury two weeks ago, 2-1/2 lengths from the winner El Sid who is being touted as a future stakes performer by the Anthony Cummings stable.