A weight advantage and extra distance has encouraged trainer Lee Hope to run Propice at Flemington on Sunday instead of a similar but shorter option at Sandown a week later.

Propice, a Flemington debut winner in 2019 when then named Ilovemyself, put in a huge comeback run at Sandown first-up, charging from 11th in a field of 13 to run second behind the smart Peter Moody-trained mare Sigh.

“He took a little bit to get over his first-up run,” Hope said.

“Only natural (after 13 months out), I thought he lived up to his work and his trial (leading into the race and) he wanted to find the line, which is a good thing.”

Propice gave weight (two kilograms) to Sigh last start.

The five-year-old gelding on Sunday will be 2.5kg better off on the weight scale with 54.5kg – half a kilogram less than Sigh.

The jump to 1100m from 1000m is also seen as a bonus.

The fallback option, another benchmark 70 at Sandown on January 7, is a 1000m event.

“The winner (Sigh) was too good (and) we probably lacked a little bit of match practice,” Hope said.

“He gets in better with the weights this time and in all fairness they ran him off his legs over 1000m first-up.”

Propice was retired in Hong Kong after five starts in two years marred by repeated tendon setbacks.

Star jockey Blake Shinn, Hope’s stepson, helped the Seymour horseman secure Propice through a connection to prominent Hong Kong trainer Casper Fownes.

Propice has firmed $9 into $6.50 in TAB‘s market for Sunday’s 1100m benchmark 70.

“He’s done well (since first-up run), he’s won down the straight and I’m not overly concerned about the barrier (13),” Hope said.

“Whether second-up syndrome (is a factor), I’m not a believer, but it does happen.”

Glen Gardiner – Racenet

Pin It on Pinterest