Trainer Brendan McShane has reversed his tactics as he tries to guide top Tasmanian filly Hot Dipped to her first Victorian win at Caulfield on Saturday.
Hot Dipped has been beaten only once in nine starts on home soil but has missed a place at three runs in Melbourne.
This has prompted McShane to alter her traveling arrangements.
“We went on a long expedition last time and I think we had her flat first-up,” McShane said.
“We went over a month before she raced and tried to assimilate her into being a Victorian horse.
“She didn't really respond to that so we’re doing completely the opposite this time.
“She didn’t go over until Tuesday night.”
McShane said that Hot Dipped would be better suited over 1400 metes than the 1200m of Saturday’s $100,000 3YO Fillies Handicap but that wasn’t practical.
“If we were in Victoria where you can give them jump-outs and trials at your leisure then it would be great to resume over 1400m because she’s a better horse over that distance,” the trainer said.
“But if we need to keep her at home - and she seems to be a bit of a homebody - then those options aren’t there.”
Hot Dipped has had one trial when she finished a close second to Minute Repeater at Elwick on June 27.
“Her trial was good, better than her trial last season going into the 3YO Cup (which she won first-up),” the trainer said.
“She took terrific improvement out of that trial and I think we should get similar improvement from her trial a couple of weeks ago.”
McShane said he wasn’t overly familiar with Hot Dipped’s opposition on Saturday.
“The few up the top that the handicappers obviously believe go OK have got to give her weight after our claim,” he said.
“Potentially something down the bottom could be a threat but they've got to run the 44-½ that she can first-up over 1200m on soft going to knock her over and, if they can, they haven’t done it yet.
“Realistically, if she's to have a chance in races like the Bow Mistress and Vamos Stakes she needs to win this race.”
McShane said he took confidence from Hot Dipped’s last run in Melbourne when she ran fourth to Leotie over 1400m at Caulfield in August.
“I can look at that run and say it was good enough to win over there at this time of the year,” he said.
The plan is to give Hot Dipped just the one run this time in.
“She needs to blow them away for us to look at another race and I'm not thinking that's going to happen,” he said.
“Our aim is to have her fresh again for the Newmarket (at Mowbray in November) but she needs to win a race and improve her 82 rating to get into the field.