Flemington Cup trip to suit Matthew Smith stayers

Sydney trainer Matthew Smith will have his work cut out keeping abreast of his runners on Saturday.

Besides three runners in the main race at Flemington, the Flemington Cup 1849 (2800m), Smith also has runners at Eagle Farm, Kembla Grange and Rosehill.

Smith said it was a battle placing his horses where he thinks they can win and for that reason has sent Southern France, Sweet Thomas and Pappalino to Flemington is search of a true staying test.

Sweet Thomas and Pappalino have undertaken tough campaigns but are holding their condition well while Southern France is in the early stages of his latest campaign after joining Smith earlier in the year.

“Pappalino and Sweet Thomas have come off a campaign of trying to win the Brisbane Cup,” Smith said.

“That was their aim, but this race was always in the back of our minds afterwards, but we ended up having another run in between because the track was suitable.

“They’ve been on the go for a while, but they seem to be holding up pretty well.”

Smith has been taken with Pappalino who finished third in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 2 at his most recent outing.

“He was working up to that and his work in the second-half of the prep has been excellent,” Smith said.

“He’s got on with the job at home and really got into his rhythm and I’ve really been pleased with his last three runs, although not everything has gone to plan.”

Smith said Sweet Thomas had an off day at the Sunshine Coast when he was not suited on the heavy conditions and racing in the wrong part of the track.

“I think the horse thought ‘I’ve had enough of this today’ and he downed tools which he doesn’t do very often, but I think that’s what he did that day,” Smith said.

“He’s come through the run outstanding and is jumping out of his skin. He’s going into this race as good as he was in the two runs prior.”

Southern France, a former member of the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable, had his first run for Smith when second-last in the Listed McKell Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on June 18.

“He ran well first-up and getting up to 2800 metres is what he’s looking for, it is just whether he might need this run,” Smith said.

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