Trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr will attempt fifth on a new trip at the final round of a long campaign in Saturday’s $300,000 Pakenham Cup (2,500m).
Preparation for Fifth Position began with a third at Sandown on June 1, but the import showed no sign of needing a break with his impressive win at Ballarat on November 19.
Kent Jr said the stable had finally decided on the best way to ride the horse after Fifth Position finished sixth at Flemington on November 3, before the tactic worked again at Ballarat.
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“Damien (Oliver) showed how to ride him at Flemington, turn and chase and get there just in time,” Kent Jr. said.
“If you get there too early, he likes to think about it a little bit.”
Price and Kent Jr have two fifth-place wins in his 10-start preparation, but the gelding has also finished in the minor money three times.
Kent Jr said mixing up Fifth Position’s routine was key to the seven-year-old’s lengthy training.
“We don’t work him a lot between rounds,” Kent Jr. said.
“We keep him in the back here at Cranbourne in these beautiful sand hills and he does a lot of work there.
“We have him jumping logs and keeping him fresh with some cross-country work between rounds.
“He just has a light canter on the grass to keep him on point.”
The fifth position is one of 16 Pakenham Cup entries where Group 2 Zipping Classic placer Persian is the top-rated runner at 102 last Saturday.
Sound, who finished a well-owned fifth in the Zipping Classic, is also a chance to back up, as is his Mike Moroney-trained stablemate Milford, who won last Saturday’s Eclipse Stakes at Caulfield.
The fifth is still to race over 2500m but Kent Jr said the Pakenham Cup was a winnable mission for the import.
“He went 2253m at Goodwood, which is a test track, and he hasn’t been beaten much in a Listed race,” Kent Jr said.
“We see it as an opportunity to try him on more terrain on the big track, which will suit him with the long climb.
“We’d probably prefer a bit of rain around, but we’re not going to get that, but Pakenham is a nice surface for them to get their toe on, which is a great thing.
“Looking at these nominations, it’s going to be a good opportunity to take a look at him on that journey.”
Persian is the $4 all-in favorite for the Pakenham Cup, ahead of Milford at $5.
Fifth place is a $10 chance along with Cormorant and Future Score.
Originally published as Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr set distance test for fifth position in Pakenham Cup