Trainer Justine Erkelens will eye next month’s Listed Hannans Handicap (1400m) if Yeah Dardy passes his first test beyond 1200m at Belmont on Saturday.
The much-improved five-year-old has won five of 16 starts, including the inaugural New Season Sprint (1000m) on August 8, and will step up to 1400m for the first time in Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Farnley Stakes.
Erkelens said a habit of over-racing early in his career had delayed the gelding’s rise in distance.
“It will be interesting,” she said.
“We have been wanting to see him over more ground for a while and he settles a lot better now.
“He has the breeding to get over a bit more ground so he should be okay.”
Yeah Dardy hasn’t raced since finishing a half-length second to Super Maxi in the Listed Belmont Newmarket (1200m) on August 18, with Erkelens electing to bypass the Listed Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m) a fortnight later.
“He would have got too many rating points if he won that race,” she said.
“He runs well fresh anyway.”
The son of Demerit has proved to be an astute purchase by Erkelens for owner, Neil Biggs, after acquiring the gelding for $11,000 at the 2015 Perth Magic Millions Winter Yearling Sale.
He has now won stake-earnings in excess of $170,000.
Erkelens said she hopes to achieve success for Biggs, an iconic Leonora local, in the Goldfields’ premier sprint race; the Listed Hannans Handicap (1400m).
“That has been the plan all along,” she said.
The $120,000 feature event will be ran at Kalgoorlie on October 3.
Meanwhile, Erkelens’ former stakes-winning mare, Friar Fox, is close to her eastern states debut for new trainer, Darren Weir.
“She had a jump-out over 900m on Monday and went well apparently,” she said.
“They think she should be ready to trial in a fortnight.”
Friar Fox burst onto the three-year-old scene with wins at four of her eight starts, including a dominant performance in the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m).
Erkelens said the Weir stable is yet to decide which races the Blackfriars four-year-old will target in her upcoming campaign.