Dry tracks always on Elvis’ mind

He’s been in scintillating form this preparation, and the Jarrod Austin-trained Looks Like Elvis will look to keep rocking and rolling at Royal Randwick this Saturday in the $150,000 Listed Carrington Stakes.

The All American gelding commenced this campaign with a close-up second in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie before not being disgraced when fifth in the Spring Mile, beaten only three lengths. He followed that run with a handy third in the Listed Ladies Day Cup at Hawkesbury before a venture down south saw him salute in the Vobis Gold Bullion at Pakenham. His latest run was full of merit when a fast-finishing second in the Listed Chester Manifold at Flemington.

Austin explains the only reason he has been heading to Victoria of late is due to the wet weather that the Sydney tracks have been experiencing. Whilst he has posted victories on Soft and Heavy going in the past, his record is far superior on top of the ground with seven wins and 12 placings from 36 attempts.

“We just wanted to find firm tracks to be honest,” Austin said.

“We’ve been plagued by wet tracks here in Sydney, that’s the whole reason he went down there.

“It looked like we were going to get the same thing here this Saturday, but now it looks like the weather has turned a little bit and we should be okay.”

Formerly trained up north by Bryan Dais, Austin only inherited Looks Like Elvis in mid 2020 when the owner moved from Queensland to New South Wales.

“When his owner relocated he brought his horses with him and I was lucky enough to get a hold of him through that,” Austin said.

“We brought him down here with the sole purpose of having a crack at an Epsom and he ran a super race in that running fifth and not getting beat far.

“He’s been consistent the whole way through and we’re really pleased with him.”

Austin will line up another galloper in the pink and light blue diamond silks this weekend with last-start winner Nikohli Beagle nominated for the Benchmark 78 over 1100m. The Nicconi gelding looked good winning a Kensington Midway first-up and is starting to show his real potential after not getting the rub of the green last campaign.

“He’s always shown that he’s up to that level but his last preparation was plagued by bad barriers and then a bit of bad luck,” Austin said.

“He was super first-up in the Midway and was aided by a gun ride by Jess Taylor.

“He was always thereabouts but to see him come out and win first-up like that was excellent.

“He has similar ownership to Looks Like Elvis. They’ve got a couple of handy ones there and it would be nice to get those colours across the line for a double on Saturday.”

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