Furrion on target for assault on Bendigo Cup

Lindsay Park is hopeful a long-term plan will come to fruition when imported galloper Furrion runs in the $400,000 Group 3 Bendigo Cup on Wednesday.

FURRION  Picture: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

Furrion  is on the comeback trail after a tendon injury and Wednesday's outing in the 2400m contest will be the gelding's fourth start this campaign. 

A former member of the Darren Weir stable, Furrion went amiss after winning the Warrnambool Cup in May 2019 and spent 16 months away from the racetrack before returning at Flemington over an unsuitable 1400m journey last month. 

Lindsay Park has gradually stepped the gelding up in distance where he has competed over 1700m and 2025m at his past two starts, the latest when 10th to Future Score in the Cranbourne Cup on October 11. 

Raced by local Bendigo identity Gerry Ryan, Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig said Wednesday's race had been in the back of the stables mind from when Furrion first stepped back into training after going through the rehabilitation for his tendon injury. 

"For Gerry Ryan, being at Bendigo, we thought it would be a nice race for him," Dabernig said. 

"Gerry's very patient and he said to take as long as you need. 

"We probably gave the horse a bit longer than what was recommended but it was just to make sure we gave a steady build up to have him racing in the spring. 

"The intention was to leave it pretty open, a run at a time. 

"We said before he even ran that we might try and target him at Bendigo and that's what we've been working towards." 

Dabernig said while the three runs may not look that strong on paper, the performances have got the stayer fitter. 

And importantly improved his race day craft. 

"He's been ring-rusty and it can take them, especially stayers, a while to get them back to something like where they were before they got injured," Dabernig said. 

"Hopefully we can get the horse's confidence back and firing again. 

"His runs have been, while visually not looking like he's been doing a lot, he's been building up to this distance. 

"He's had to go back a couple of times from his barrier draws and I think he can race a little handier, not going ridiculously forward, but a bit further than midfield with the blinkers on. 

"If he runs well there's the Queen Elizabeth maybe or we might consider Sandown, but we'll just judge that after he runs at Bendigo. 

"I think he's heading in the right direction." 

Furrion has been easy in TAB betting since Monday's barrier draw, drifting from $16 to $23. 

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Lord Belvedere narrowly heads the market at $4.80 ahead of Pondus and Zebrowski at $5. 

Of the full field of 16, plus two emergencies, six of the runners will attempt to improve their chances of gaining a start in the $8 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3. 

Zebrowski, currently 25th in the Melbourne Cup order of entry, needs to win on Wednesday and receive a rehandicap to move into the top 24. 

Others hoping to improve their positions are Azuro (34th), Haky (37th) and Pondus (39th) while Lord Belvedere and Saracen Knight will pass an important ballot clause if successful. 

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