He might not have won since New Year’s Day last year, but Saab Hasan says Sirius Suspect is going as well as ever ahead of the Santa Ana Lane Sprint Series Final (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The seven-year-old’s most recent victory came at the track and trip in the Group 3 Standish Handicap and Hasan is hoping a return to his home surface can bring a recently elusive victory.
“We expect a very prominent showing on Saturday,” the Flemington-based trainer said.
“He’s in really good form, he’s only been beaten due to track bias or running into a better one on the day.
“He’s not far off and we’re really happy with the way he’s racing this prep, he’s probably going as good as ever.”
Sirius Suspect finished third in the Golden Topaz (1200m) at Swan Hill earlier this month and with even luck, Hasan says he should have gone close to winning.
“There was a bias in the Golden Topaz, I walked the track and if I could’ve, I would have wanted to be 14-wide, but take nothing from the winner or the second horse,” he said.
“He’s had a minor setback since the Gold Topaz, he had a little foot abscess burst but he hasn’t really missed any work, that’s the only issue we’ve had with him this prep.
“We’ve just had to wait and sit and be patient with him. He’s bouncing, he’s strong, he’s never been so strong or eaten so well, and he’s probably never gone better.”
Three times a winner at Flemington, Sirius Suspect has drawn barrier five for Saturday’s Listed feature and will again be ridden by in-form hoop Ethan Brown.
“The way he’s settling in his races and has matured, I think you’ll find he’ll get the 1400m next prep, but we’ve decided to keep him to the sprint races and keep him nice and fresh this winter,” Hasan said.
“I’m going to stop with him for a couple of weeks and give him a freshen up at home. Then we’ll target the spring races with him, and he might have another crack at the Standish Handicap or target the 1400m.
“We’re pretty upbeat about his chances this week without getting too ahead of ourselves.”