Group 1-winning trainer Graeme Jose is hoping a change of scenery will pay dividends when he heads to Healesville on Sunday with five runners; rating runaway last start Sandown Park winner Aston Shine and promising youngster Gold Skulltula as the pick of his quintet.
Jose’s runners are (in race order); Aston Jupiter (R5), grand veteran Lots Of Chatter (R6), Aston Shine (R8), Aston Lights (R9) and Gold Skulltula (R12).
None of the five have raced at Healesville previously; however they all gained a taste of straight track experience when trialling midweek.
“I don’t really go over to Healesville that often,” said Catani-based Jose.
“I’m looking at keeping them fresh and giving them a change of scenery.
“As a rule, I’ve found in the past that when you take them to Healesville they come out of the boxes better when they go back to the circle. Nine times out of ten they’ll begin beautifully when you take them back to a circle track.
“I trialled all of them at Healesville on Wednesday and they went quite well. Aston Shine and Lots Of Chatter went the best and Gold Skulltula was about half a length behind them.”
Jose is especially bullish about the prospects of Aston Shine, a well-bred son of Fernando Bale and Fantastic Dotty, which has won 11 of his 47 starts and three of his past six, his most recent appearance a 10-length romp at Sandown Park, recording a Best Of Day 29.44sec.
The main danger to Aston Shine looms as Rob Camilleri’s Chop Scotch, which has won 15 from 37 and has two seconds from two appearances at Healesville.
Jose also expects youngster Gold Skulltula, a son of Ritza Lenny and Enlightenment that turns two on Monday and has won four from 14, to prove hard to beat from Box 2 in race 12.