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Material Man ready for acid test, says Warwick

2 years ago

Classy WA galloper Material Man kicks off his All-Star Mile campaign in Saturday's Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield, and trainer Justin Warwick is confident his stable star will be competitive.

Second to gun filly Arcadia Queen in the G1 Kingston Town Classic at Ascot in December, Material Man is first-up in the $500,000 feature.

The seven-year-old has been a model of consistency during his career, finishing outside the first three just four times in 25 starts, amassing earnings of $1.6 million.

"His best and worst are pretty close together. Most of the time he's missed the money I blame myself for putting him in the wrong race or working him too hard," Warwick said.

"His record's better than mine."

With Saturday's rivals including the likes of Kementari, Land Of Plenty and Redkirk Warrior, Warwick is well aware of the task that confronts Material Man.

But he's adamant the Vital Equine gelding won't let him down.

"He's as good as he can be. I think maybe with one run under his belt at this distance, he could maybe improve, but there'll be no excuses, whatever he does that's as good as he is," Warwick explained.

"It's an elite field, probably the best field he's ever bumped into.

"I'm not confident, no, but there's no races for him in Perth, so if you want to keep racing your horse this is where you've got to go."

Warwick's daughter, Lucy, who has partnered the horse 16 times for nine wins and five minor placings, will ride Material Man.

"I'm pretty sure he'll be competitive; whether he can win… it's a 16-horse, elite field… you'd be pretty brave to say that," Warwick said.

"With a good, clean run, I'd like to think he could run in the first five."

Material Man currently sits 10th on the leaderboard for the inaugural running of the $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington on March 16, and a good run in the Orr will doubtless do his chances of getting a slot in the race the world of good.

"That's the big carrot… just the fact that we're in the running to get in it," said Warwick.

"Just to get in it - when you have a small stable in Perth - you know those opportunities are not going to come along your way too many times so you want to make the most of it."

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