Short course specialist and one of the favourites for The Warra (1000m) on Saturday, Malkovich should take his place in the $300,000 Kembla Grange sprint provided the track isn’t too wet.
Luke Hilton from the Bjorn Baker stable was confident the Kembla Grange track will hold up, with anywhere from 0-6mm of rain predicted on both Friday and Saturday.
“It seems to have dropped off a bit so if we don’t get too much rain he’ll definitely line up in The Warra, and I thought his trial showed he was back to his best as well,” Hilton told SKY.
Malkovich will behaving his third crack at The Warra; picture Racing Photos
Deliberately held back from the Spring, Malkovich, who has won four races over 1000m, will line up for his third crack at The Warra, meaning he’ll have run in every edition of the race having started favourite in both attempts to date.
He finished second to Eleven Eleven in 2021 at $2.35 and then fifth last year at $3.40 with 59kg, and will again attack the race fresh on Saturday with 59.5kg.
Malkovich was beaten for the first time ever in 17 barrier trials by stablemate Iowna Merc on the 27th of October but quickly righted that wrong with an all-the-way trial win over another stablemate in Overpass on the 13th of November, and Hilton is confident he’s now ready to fire.
“We tried to change a few things with him this time in … he did a bit of jumping the other day as well. I thought [in] his trial he really wanted to be there and jump into the bridle and he’s definitely a happy horse,” Hilton said.
“Kembla’s a tough 1000 metres but I think if the track doesn’t get the rain, then he’s going to be a big chance on Saturday.”
Despite being beaten in this race two years running, Malkovich has been backed in all-in markets from $8 to $6, with Dragonstone holding the call at $4.50.