Tempo on song for latest challenge

Handy sprinter Quick Tempo will make his second consecutive appearance at The Gong meeting but this time it will be to chase one of the day’s features.

The gelding took out a 1000-metre benchmark race on the undercard 12 months ago, his performance there planting the seed for trainer Mark Minervini to return with him this weekend for a shot at the $300,000 The Warra over the same trip.

“He won at The Gong meeting this time last year, the (benchmark) 78, 1000-metre race and ran a faster time than The Warra on the day,” Minervini said.

“If he’s back to that sort of form, which I think he is, he should be able to be very competitive in The Warra on Saturday.”

Quick Tempo kicked off his current campaign in August but after two flat runs, Minervini pulled up stumps and sent him to the paddock for a brief freshen-up.

The ploy worked, with the horse returning to the races earlier this month to post a hard-fought win over Iowna Merc at Randwick.

“His first two runs back from a decent spell, I was a bit disappointed in him,” Minervini said.

“I didn’t think his coat looked good, so we tipped him out and gave him a bit of time at the farm.

“I was really happy with him going into Melbourne Cup day at Randwick. I thought he looked outstanding, he performed that way and he definitely hasn’t gone backwards since.”

Jason Collett partnered Quick Tempo to his last start win and sticks with the five-year-old from barrier nine on Saturday.

Collett will also ride Minervini’s other runner, New Republic in the Canadian Club Handicap (2000m).

The horse is expected to strip fitter for two runs from a spell and Minervini saw merit in his latest performance when grinding home for fifth over 1800m at Rosehill.

“I thought he was good last start at Rosehill. Jason put him to sleep and he made good ground out wide,” he said.

“I thought he was going to run into the placings and he might have just peaked on his run the last furlong, but he has taken good improvement out of that and the step up to 2000 and from a better barrier (five), ridden quiet again, hopefully he will be thereabouts at the finish.”

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