Three-year-old Top Me Up has already produced several impressive results through his short racing career so far, and co-trainer Wayne Hawkes is confident a step-up in distance for Saturday’s Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield will be key in the colt’s return to the winner’s circle.
Interestingly yet to post a race win in four competitive starts, Top Me Up returned this time for a credible fourth in the 1Print BM78 (1000m) on August 1st before running a close second to Gold Symphony in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago.
Thrilled with his performance at black type level last time out, Hawkes told Racing Ahead the team is pleased with Top Me Up’s current condition and are confident he will be suited to the conditions of the 2015 McNeil Stakes.
“He ran super the other day,” Hawkes said.
“He was just a bit tardy out of the gates and if he jumped cleanly he probably leads and that might have been the difference between winning and running second.
“His form is very, very good without winning and he has no reason not to front up.
“He was the most relaxed I have ever seen him work on Tuesday and then the same again this morning, so he is in a good way and he is in a good mood.”
Dwayne Dunn has been confirmed to take the ride on Top Me Up in the 2015 McNeil Stakes and Hawkes revealed he will instruct to leading hoop to go forward from the ideal barrier 5.
“He used to run on his nerves, but now that he is a gelding he is relaxing all the time,” Hawkes said.
“He is another one that is going to lead or be box-seat and I think that the 1200 is going to suit him down to the ground.
“100 metres or 200 metres in a race just chances the whole perspective and it is amazing how horses that run out a strong 1400 metres can’t get a mile.
“It can make them or break them.”
Debuting to racing for second in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Sandown on January 26th, Top Me Up returned to the paddock after placing fourth in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) a fortnight later.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 McNeil Stakes odds, for which Top Me Up can be taken at a quote of $11 for success.