AAP Horse Racing

Winter Championship aim for Galaxy Raider

By AAP Newswire

The Listed Winter Championship Final is the target for Galaxy Raider who will have his final lead-up in one of two races at Flemington.

Trainer Grahame Begg has Galaxy Raider nominated for Saturday's VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Heat 8 over 1400m and also a benchmark-78 over the same distance.

Galaxy Raider is 22nd in the ballot order for Saturday's Winter Championship heat which has a field limit of 16 plus emergencies, so the gelding's weekend assignment will be decided at acceptance time on Wednesday morning.

"It's probably going to be determined by how he looks in the ballot," Begg said.

"That's why I've nominated him in the other race."

The Winter Championship Final (1600m) at Flemington is two weeks after Saturday, with places in the final determined firstly by points accrued during heats of the series.

Galaxy Raider finished second at his most recent start at Flemington last month in a heat of the series, earning eight points.

"The thing in his favour is that he's already got eight points for the Winter Championships," Begg said.

"So he's well-positioned as far as getting in the final is concerned.

"So if he doesn't get a run in the open handicap on Saturday it's not the end of the world, going towards the final."

Begg said Galaxy Raider had been given a month since his last-start second with a view to his next two assignments.

Formerly trained by Greg Eurell, Galaxy Raider is in his first preparation for Begg and has one win and three seconds among his five starts for his new trainer.

Overall, Galaxy Raider has won three of his 23 starts with eight second placings.

Begg said the gelding was talented but also acknowledged he was "a bit of an enigma" given he had run plenty of placings and often looked unlucky when he flashed home late in his races.

"Unfortunately that's his racing style," he said.

"He likes to be left alone in his races and build up his momentum and hit the line.

"But he's certainly a talented galloper."