Saab Hasan is hoping the magical hands of star jockey Jamie Kah will be the key to his sprinter Sirius Suspect being able to transition to the level of a Group One sprinter.
So far they have combined once for an easy last start win at Pakenham and they will again in the Group Three Standish Handicap (1200 metres) at Flemington on Friday which has only attracted a field of eight.
It was the style of the Pakenham win and the way Kah managed to get him to settle which impressed Hasan.
Hasan has always had a big opinion of Sirius Suspect but said the one chink in his armour had been his inability to settle.
When Hasan’s stable jockey Brad Rawiller relocated to Perth recently, the trainer reached out to Kah to ride Sirius Suspect.
“I spoke to owner Darren Dance (Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock manager) and we decided Kah would be the best fit for him as she gets horses to travel and relax,” Hasan said.
“Jamie sat on him in trackwork and a trial and they jelled straight away and then at Pakenham where she put him to sleep and he won with ease,” he said.
Hasan said as a six-year-old gelding Sirius Suspect had also returned to work as a better horse.
“He’s also more mature mentally and he’s learnt to relax. The ability has always been there but mentally he wasn’t,” he said.
Since joining Hasan’s stables the trainer pointed out he had had five runs down the Flemington straight for two firsts,a second, a third and a fourth.
“On that basis I’m confident he will run at least in the top four but really I’m expecting him to go close to winning as this is the race we’ve set him for,” Hasan said.
“Also two starts ago when he finished third at Flemington over 1200 metres he ran 1.08.13 min. I know it was wind assisted but how many horses can run that time?”
Hasan said if Sirius Suspect could win the Group Three race he would aim him at the Group One Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March.