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Spring campaign calling for Steparty

17 June 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

Dean Yendall has handed out an early Cox Plate tip after the win of Steparty at Flemington.

Trainer Paul Preusker and jockey Dean Yendall both expect Steparty to rise to a far greater level after keeping his winning record intact. 

After wins at Ballarat and Flemington, Steparty stepped out to 1420m at Flemington on Saturday to claim the Rod Johnson Handicap after showing an explosive turn of foot soon after turning for home. 

Sent out the $2.60 favourite, Steparty was throttled down by Yendall in scoring a 1-¼ length win over Blazing Harry ($4.80) with Bolted In ($6) a further 3-½ lengths away third. 

Preusker said Steparty was likely to go for a break and miss a step up to 1600m in a fortnight to contest the Taj Rossi Series Final at Flemington. 

The Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October is in the back of Preusker's mind. 

Preusker rarely dabbles in two-year-olds, preferring to work with stayers and jumpers, and did not expect to be racing Steparty so early in his career. 

"I don't get wrapped up in them (two-year-olds) or buy them, and I never intended to have this fella as a two-year-old," Preusker said. 

"But he just plotted his own path. I haven't played trainers with him, and I probably never will. 

"I'll let him do the talking, but he's certainly the right horse for the job. I reckon he's a proper horse." 

Yendall said Steparty would have no problem handling a step up in trip. 

He said the most pleasing part of Saturday's race was the way he relaxed, then sprinted. 

"I said to Shane (Patterson) on the pony that this is the best one I've ever had," Yendall said 

"He does everything in his stride. He relaxed beautifully out there into that wind. 

"I got there a bit earlier than I would have liked, but he was travelling that well and at the 400 (metres), I said, 'let's go mate' and I was pretty kind on him." 

Asked what distance does Yendall expect Steparty to step out to in the future. 

"A nice 2000 metres at The Valley, and 100 per cent I can make the weight," Yendall said."