The connections of Big Mike are pondering over a possible Melbourne trip as an option for the freegoer after his effort at Hastings on Saturday.
Big Mike followed his fresh-up close second to Charles Road over 1600m on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival with another bold front-running display for third behind Five To Midnight and Peso over 2000m.
“He’s nominated for the Livamol Classic, but he’s well down the list and might not get in,” trainer Craig Phelan said.
“We’d like to have a crack at it, but we’re also looking at other options. We might take him over to Melbourne and run him at Moonee Valley the night before the Cox Plate.
“There’s a race there that could suit him and he should love the track. He should rail like a greyhound.
“It’s just something we’re considering and we’ll make a decision by the end of the week.
“If he doesn’t go and misses out on the Livamol we’ll just have to consider another option.”
Big Mike has won six of his 20 starts and been placed on a further seven occasions with two of those wins being over 2100m and the others up to 1600m.
Phelan believes the six-year-old son of Don Eduardo proved on Saturday that staying is now his forte.
“He just keeps going at the one pace,” he said. “When they’d raced around the back after the winning post he was in front again.
“If we do decide to take him to Melbourne he could stay over there for a while. There’ll be plenty of opportunities for him.”
Meanwhile, Phelan is taking a relaxed approach to the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 10 with the stable’s promising three-year-old stablemate Notabadidea.
Notabadidea has created a big impression with a debut win at Taupo then a close and unlucky second to Bobby Dazzler in the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) at Wanganui earlier this month.
Whereas several of the likely 2000 Guineas’ contenders will be at Hastings in a fortnight for the Gr.2 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m), the Highly Recommended three-year-old will be ending his break away from the racetrack at that time.
“He’s been out for 10 days and we’re picking him up and taking him out to the water walker for two weeks,” Phelan said.
“We just want to take him quietly through and get him to Christchurch. There’s a nice three-year-old race at Matamata (on October 13) that could be a good lead-up.”
“He was unlucky not to win the Wanganui Guineas and we’re looking after him.” – NZ Racing Desk