Saturday's C S Hayes Stakes at Flemington does not carry Group 1 status, but co-trainer Sam Freedman would like to think the $200,000 Group 3 can be a stepping stone to a deserved elite-level success later in the campaign for Elliptical.
The son of Dundeel has won just one of his six starts but is a two-time Group 1 runner-up, in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at consecutive starts last campaign.
"He's been knocking on the door and is stiff not to be a dual Group 1 winner, so hopefully he can get his time in the sun in something," Freedman said.
The $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 4 is the first Group 1 race Elliptical will contest this campaign.
But before that comes the C S Hayes Stakes, one of the key Australian Guineas lead-ups, and Freedman is happy with the way Elliptical has come to hand since rounding out his spring campaign with a seventh placing in the star-studded Champions Stakes (2000m).
The colt took part in an 800m Flemington jumpout last Friday (video below), in which he finished second to Group 1 star Alligator Blood, which was his third serious hit-out of the preparation but first with the blinkers he sports on raceday.