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Rae issues Little Caulfield test

Enna’s Dream more fancied, but trainer most excited about Little Jack’s prospects.

LITTLE JACK winning the Fantasy Cocktails BM64 Handicap at Sale in Australia.
LITTLE JACK winning the Fantasy Cocktails BM64 Handicap at Sale in Australia.

Alex Rae has a horse towards the head of betting in one race at Caulfield this Saturday, but it is the longer-priced of his two runners that he is most excited about.

Had she not missed a run over 1400 metres at Sandown two weeks ago, Enna's Dream most likely would not have even been among the field for the $150,000 Sportsbet Feed 3YO Fillies Handicap (1200m).

Little Jack, on the other hand, is using the $80,000 Become An MRC Member Handicap (2000m) as a stepping stone to better things.

The Rebel Raider four-year-old has won four of his six starts, including two wins and a second from three starts this campaign, and Rae considers this the perfect race to test him at 2000m.

"He's screaming out for the 2000 metres and we think he's really progressive," Rae said.

"Whether or not Saturday grade has come around too soon or not, we'll find out on Saturday, but he's definitely going to get to this grade in time."

Making Saturday's event even more appealing is that it is one of two divisions of the benchmark 78 event.

"Obviously they've split this race, so they've diluted the quality a little bit," Rae said.

"There are not a lot of options either side of it and it's probably a good opportunity to dip our toe in some deeper water this time of the year, when you're not running into some really progressive horses.

"Looking at the form for the race, he is probably that progressive horse in the field, so hopefully he is the one on the up and I think the weight assistance is going to help him."

Little Jack drops to 56kg at Caulfield, where he will be ridden by Jason Maskiell, after carting 61kg to victory in BM64 grade at Sale last start.

Little Jack is an $8.50 chance in Race 3 with Enna's Dream the $5.50 equal second favourite for Race 5 and while Rae said the four-year-old is in fine shape, he questions her winning chances being five weeks between runs, back in trip and likely to start from the second-widest gate.

"The barrier makes things a little bit tricky, we'll be conceding ground, so I'd be surprised if she could win on Saturday," Rae said.

"There's a 1400-metre race in two weeks back at Caulfield where we feel we can be hard to beat."