Big Mike’s connections are eyeing a late visit to the Queensland winter festival.
The improving stayer delivered another winning cheque in the travelling fund at Te Rapa on Saturday when he jumped from a Rating 75 victory to open handicap success in the Fairview Motors 2100m.
“Dad’s quite keen to come back here for the Cornwall, we know that will be at Te Rapa again and it’s a horses for courses track, and all going well we might catch the end of the Brisbane carnival,” said Shaun Phelan, representing his father Craig who trains Big Mike.
The Don Eduardo five-year-old rolled along in front under jockey Sam Weatherley and they were never headed, despite an early hiccup.
Big Mike was one of a number who charged the gates when they failed to open and had to undergo veterinary inspections, resulting in one of his main rivals Francis Drake being a late scratching.
“It was a bit of a scare at the start, but it was a perfect ride by Sam and once he’s in his rhythm he’s hard to peg back,” Phelan said.
Big Mike has been a late developer and has now won five of his 16 starts.
“The boys on the gates have done a bit of work with him, he was a barrier rogue earlier on,” Phelan said. “He’s matured now so it’s onwards and upwards.”
Big Mike revelled in his work in front and won easing down by four-and-three-quarter lengths from Skyweka with Victory Drive a distant third.
“He travelled beautifully in front,” Weatherley said. “He’s push button and won easily.”