The Inferno (Image: Racing Photos)
Cliff Brown isn't expecting the same result from The Inferno in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on Friday night as he produced in the race two years ago.
On that occasion The Inferno, who had been a star in Singapore before accompanying Brown back to Australia, was beaten a nose by Wild Ruler.
Brown was then justified in starting him in The Everest, where he finished 10th.
It was The Inferno's next start when he was first-up in 2022 which set him back after he almost fell in the early stages of the Black Caviar Lightning in which he finished eighth.
"He took 12 months to be right after he was flattened in the Lightning. He looked good but something wasn't right," Brown said.
Although The Inferno finished second in the Hareeba Stakes earlier this year, Brown believes he's now in the best condition he has been since 2021, although he pointed out that his galloper is two years older and faces a strong field.
"He's come back in great order. He's in a really good spot," he said.
"He's not going to beat them, he's probably not going to run a place against that quality of field now he's older, but I think in a few runs' time he can win a nice race. All he has to do is go back and finish off and look enthusiastic and I'll be happy."
Brown said although there looks set to be a lot of speed, which could play into the hands of a backmarker like The Inferno, he thinks he might have to get to his top speed a long way out.
The Inferno is $46 with Sportsbet.
Meanwhile Brown's plan of trying to match his best finish in a Melbourne Cup, Markham's third placing in 1997, won't happen this year as his only nomination Yaphet has been injured and is spelling.