Three months ago Wyong trainer, Jeff Englebrecht, decided that while Profiler might be eight years old it might not be too late to try something new with a horse that up until then had been solely a sprinter.
On Sunday at Wyong Profiler will tackle 1600 metres for the first time in the Mingara and PKF For Smeethy Benchmark 64.
His four previous runs, all over 1400 metres, produced a third at Warwick Farm, a third at Taree, an eighth on a soft track at Mudgee and a good effort when fourth at Newcastle after racing keenly in the early and middle stages.
“He is fast but he can run on,” Englebrecht said.
“However, in those shorter races he doesn’t have the time to finish them off.
“If nothing else wants to lead Serg (Lisnyy) can use his speed and go to the lead and then let him run on.
“I was happy with three of his four runs over 1400 metres.
“Forget the run at Mudgee because he does not like soft tracks.
“The run at Newcastle convinced me we should try him over 1600m metres because despite over racing early he really got home well.”
Profiler started his career at Gosford but after three runs was switched to Stephen Lee at Ballina and won seven races including one at Doomben and the Grafton heat of the 2016 Country Championship before a luckless 12th in the final at Randwick after starting from an outside barrier.
The horse was later switched to Englebrecht and while he is yet to win for that trainer in nine starts he has turned in several promising runs, particularly now that he has been stepped up in distance.
Meanwhile the Mark Newnham trained Victory Anthem is a proven 1600 metre performer and will be aiming for his third win over that distance in this race.
He resumed from a freshen up to score an easy win over the distance at Nowra. In fact all three of his wins have been on that track.
In 2005 Taree trainer Bob Milligan scored an important win when his top-class stayer Carael Boy won the Wyong cup before going on to win the Newcastle Cup.
Milligan can’t return to Wyong on Sunday but will be watching from his bed in Taree hospital when Malea Magic (Andrew Adkins) runs in the Everything Sports and Perpetual Conveyancing Class One (1000m).
Malea Magic resumed to score a run-away maiden win at Tamworth late last month at only her second start and is going to Wyong to allow connections to decide if they should consider preparing her for a tilt at next year’s Country Championships.
She led for much of the Tamworth race to win by five and a half lengths in smart time on a track rated a soft 7.
“We have always had an opinion of her but we need to know how good she might be and the only way to find out is to throw her in at the deep end,” Milligan’s son and foreman, Glenn, said.
“The Country Championships is something we have talked about and if she wins or runs a big race on Sunday we will need to give her a break then get her back and get her ready.”
Glenn, a licensed trainer, is running the stable following the serious accident his father suffered in April after he was found face down in the wash bay at Taree with serious facial injuries.
No one has been able to establish what happened.
Milligan has had a tough six months since then, first at Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital where he had to overcome two heart attacks and pneumonia and now at Taree Base Hospital where he still has a tube in his throat.
“The accident damaged his vocal chords among other things and he cannot swallow properly which is why the tube is still in,” Glenn said.
“We are hoping that eventually it will come out.
“Dad is still doing what he can to be involved but he still has some challenges ahead of him as does Mum when she gets him home.
“We need to keep Dad involved with the horses because it’s his passion, it’s his one interest and a winner or two on Sunday would certainly help lift his spirits.”
Glenn’s wife, Vicki, will take Malea Magic to Wyong while Glenn will saddle up two runners at Port Macquarie.
1-1.00, ROILY AND BOOTHY FOR SMEETHY MAIDEN, 1350m: COLTRANE 1, Starvino 2, Soir De Lune 3, Lamplight Lili 4.
2-1.40, JIMMY JURD FOR SMEETHY 3YO MAIDEN, 1600m: INTO THE OBLIVION 2, Moss Moana 2, Pyro 3, Lady Cuvee 4.
3-2.20, REAL ESTATE ACADEMY FOR SMEETHY CLASS ONE, 1350m: OUR ROYAL EGYPTIAN 1, Bobbing 2, Etheridge 3, Auchentoman 4.
4-2.55, JA TIGHE PLUMBING AND WHOLESALE APPLIANCES MAIDEN, 1000m: FALLGOLD 1, Hiemai 2, Nobody’s Puppet 3, Hubble 4.
5-3.30, SE RENTALS FOR SMEETHY MAIDEN, 1200m: COPPERGATE 1, Evalina 2, Ambleve 3, Akeed 4.
6-4.05, MINGARA AND PKF FOR SMEETHY BENCHMARK 64, 1600m: PROFILER 1, Victory Anthem 2, Zabeel’s Choice 3, Twilighter 4.
7-4.40, THE ENTRANCE LEAGUES FOR SMEETHY BENCHMARK 70, 1000m: PATRON BLACK 1, Second Island 2, Stone Cold 3, Rastafarian 4.
8-5.15, EVERYTHING SPORTS AND PERPETUAL CONVEYANCING CLASS ONE, 1000m: POWER RUSH 1, Miss Invincible 2, Malea Magic 3, Celer 4.
Best Bets: Coppergate, Patron Black.