Pinstriped being aimed at the Cox Plate 2023

Cranbourne trainer Enver Jusufovic is looking to strike early with his stable star Pinstriped at Caulfield.

Pinstriped is set to make a pre-spring appearance in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on Saturday with Jusufovic hoping residual fitness from an early winter campaign will hold the gelding in good stead.

A stakes winner as a three-year-old, Pinstriped was turned out for a break after running third over 1800m at Sandown on May 27.

That followed victories at Sandown and Flemington on April 15 and May 20 respectively.

Jusufovic said Pinstriped spent four weeks in the paddock, and had returned to the stable in great condition, both physically and mentally.

“It’s the first time for a long time where he’s had a break and come in, pretty much where he left off,” Jusufovic said.

“He had four weeks off and when he came back in, pretty much his coat hadn’t changed.

“I was actually surprised how much residual fitness he had, which suggests physically and mentally he’s come back very good.”

Jusufovic said Pinstriped was allowed to be a ‘horse’ during his break.

He said the five-year-old was well-rugged against the elements when in the paddock the entire time.

Jusufovic has liked what he has seen from Pinstriped in preparation for his return and believes the gelding is ready to tackle the 1400m trip fresh.

“He’s had two jump-outs now. His first one was good and his second was good behind some very good sprinters,” Jusufovic said.

“His fitness levels are good. I’ve kept him up to the mark with these short 800-metre trials and I think if I ran him over 1200 metres, they would be a bit quick for him.

“He’s fit enough to run well first-up.”

While entered for the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October, Jusufovic has not decided on a program for Pinstriped, preferring to wait and see how the gelding runs on Saturday.

“There are no set goals with him at this stage,” Jusufovic said.

“Like everyone else, you would like to strike early while the iron is hot.

“The horse went out with a lot of confidence, and he’s come back in well.”

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