Murt The Flirt will take a handy fresh record into the Sir John Monash Stakes as he attempts to give trainer Brendan McCarthy a second win in the late-season sprint at Caulfield.
McCarthy won the Monash Stakes with Regal Shot 16 years ago and has Murt The Flirt aimed at Saturday’s 1100m-Group Three race.
Murt The Flirt has won three times fresh from a spell, but the Monash looms as his toughest first-up assignment.
The 16 nominations for the weight-for-age race include multiple Group One winner Flamberge and comeback sprinter Lord Of The Sky who is set to line up in his fourth Monash Stakes, having won it in 2014.
Quality sprinter Supido is also entered while Sydney trainers Peter and Paul Snowden have dual Group One placegetter Dothraki nominated.
McCarthy is pleased with Murt The Flirt’s build-up and is hoping the gelding gets a surface to his liking to show his best.
“We’re hoping to get a little bit of sting out of the track,” McCarthy said.
“As long as it’s not a good three. A four or five is ideal for him, he can run really well on those sorts of tracks.
“Last preparation we felt each time he got onto a firm track we got a below standard result with him.”
McCarthy said Murt The Flirt was likely to have a couple of starts this preparation before having another break and being aimied at the Magic Millions Sprint in January.
Chris Symons has ridden Murt The Flirt in 12 of his 21 starts, including three of his four wins, and retains the ride on Saturday.
“He seems to have come up really well,” McCarthy said.
“He had a virus when he first came into the stable but we were able to get that cleared up and he’s had a really nice preparation ever since.
“He’s had a couple of nice jump-outs, his first-up record is good and when he is on song he’s always hard to beat first-up.”
McCarthy’s brother Daniel could also have a runner in Saturday’s race, with three-year-old Ashlor nominated.