ANTHONY and Chris Frisby are hopeful that last weekend's Shepparton Cup fourth placing for Our Uncle Sam will help put their gelding in strong stead for this Saturday's even tougher Group 1 Ballarat Cup (2710 metres) bid.
Our Uncle Sam had to do plenty of work out wide in the late stages of the Group 2 Shepparton Cup last Saturday, where he narrowly missed third place to Western Sonador while Sprit Of St Louis held off returning champion Lochinvar Art for the victory.
Anthony Frisby said the racing certainly doesn't get any easier for their stable champion this weekend but last Saturday's run was a nice confidence booster.
"We're pretty happy since it was his first run back from the Inter Dominion. He came back and his heart was good, and he needed that run," he said.
"It will be extremely hard for him this Saturday night. There's a fair few nice horses in it. If the speed's genuine and we can get a tow into the race he'll be in it but it'll be hard process."
Spirit Of St Louis earned the dream gate one draw for this Saturday night's Group 1 race as he chases the Bendigo-Shepparton-Ballarat cups treble.
Lochinvar Art starts right beside him in gate two while Inter Dominion runner-up Expensive Ego will be a major threat second from the inside on the back row.
Max Delight, Triple Threat and Amazing Dream are other big names in pursuit of Group 1 glory in this Saturday's main event.
Our Uncle Sam is widest on the second row but Frisby isn't too displeased by the testing draw.
"I'm reasonably happy with the draw but we'll need some luck early. If they can cut each other up early then that will be really nice for us," he said.
"He'll still run an honest race."
Our Uncle Sam came back for the Shepparton Cup after a brief one month spell to help him recover from his Inter Dominion campaign.
The journey towards the Inter Dominion series was a tough one, and Frisby is hopeful that the new year will be a chance for Sam to rediscover some of his top form.
"We've had a hard last eight months with him with his feet but I think he is starting to get back there, but you've got to remember that there's always these great young horses coming through," he said.
"The biggest problem is we can't sprint. If he's up close to them, two to three back on the fence, and they're running hard then he'll keep going with them. I'm not sure about beating them, but he'll run a good race like he generally does.
"We can hold five deep for a pretty long time even if they do go hard but you need to have all that work in front.
"When we came second to Tiger Tara [in the 2018 Inter Dominion] they went out hard and made it a staying test - that's why that Inter Dominion race worked for us."
Team Frisby also have Aphorism and Our Aunty Ash in action at the Ballarat meeting.
The $110,000 Ballarat Cup will get underway from 9.37pm this Saturday.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: