Tom Dabernig doesn’t have to be told that Aysar has made a habit of running second.
But the Lindsay Park head trainer is keeping the faith when it comes to the three-year-old’s next start in the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Dabernig has some compelling reasons why the son of Deep Field can turn around his run of near-misses.
He believes Aysar has a key advantage in being proven at 1600 metres, and also that he has been set specifically for the race.
Dabernig pointed out that Aysar had raced twice over the Guineas journey for narrow seconds behind two smart horses in Ole Kirk and Crosshaven.
“He got beaten by a half-length in the Caulfield Guineas when he started from a wide barrier. I think the Caulfield Guineas is great form for the Australian Guineas,” Dabernig said.
“Then in the Carbine Club Stakes he looked to have his stablemate Crosshaven beaten but he just out-toughed him.
“In each of those runs he was beaten by smart horses.”
It is a trend that has continued for Aysar this campaign.
He resumed with a second to subsequent Oakleigh Plate dead-heater Portland Sky in the Manfred Stakes at Caulfield over 1200 metres and was runner-up to Tagaloa in the C S Hayes Stakes at Flemington last start.
“He’s run into good horses each time. I thought his second in the C S Hayes Stakes was a great run,” Dabernig said.
“They ran the fastest 1400 metres for the day, more than half a second faster than the Vanity Stakes and a second-and-a-half faster than the open handicappers.”
Dabernig said Tagaloa’s winning time of 1:21.63 minutes was also the quickest C S Hayes for over 20 years.
“Tagaloa is a Group One winner and he looked back to the form he showed as a two-year-old. He’s also unproven over 1600 metres,” Dabernig said.
“Aysar came out of the race really well. I’ve trained him with purpose to peak third up in this race and all the signs say that’s the case.
“He’s a big, healthy, robust horse who will be spot-on.”
Dabernig is quietly confident Aysar can break through in the Group One Guineas.
“My main query will be how he settles before the race as he can still be a bit too colty,” he said.
Aysar is a $9 chance with TAB fixed odds to win the Australian Guineas.
Dabernig will make a decision later in the week whether Crosshaven takes his place in the feature after he finished second last in the Futurity Stakes on Saturday.