Dual Group Three winner Ayrton will be looking to bounce back to form when he lines-up in the Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
It will be the New Zealand-bred’s first crack at elite-level and trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr are hoping he will be competitive at a distance they believe is short of his best.
The son of Iffraaj had the first blot on his near perfect record last start when eighth in the Gr.2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast, having won six of his previous eight starts and placing in his other two outings.
“It is his only blemish on his form (Hollindale),” Price told RSN.
“The horrible track, as in the surface, brought him undone.
“There was a change in plan and we gave him four weeks to freshen. His trial at the Sunshine Coast on the polytrack was good, he motored home there.
“I have got no issues with the horse, he is perfect within himself. He has had a good few weeks up there and has done really well in the weather.
“I am sure he will run well, it’s just whether he can win a Stradbroke or not.”
With an outside draw (19), Price is hoping his charge can show some early speed to find a handy position.
“There doesn’t seem to be the normal frenetic speed of a Stradbroke. I know they (inside horses) are going to push forward because of the big field,” he said.
“I would like to see Jamie Kah give him the rub out of the gates. I don’t think he will want to be too far out of the ground trying to win a Stradbroke, so hopefully we can take some sort of position without being too far back.”