BENDIGO trainer Josh Julius will target a second city win with Just Folk at Caulfield on Saturday.
The promising four-year-old, to be ridden by Julius' younger sister Melissa Julius, will take on a big field in the $75,000 MRC Member Linda Leo Handicap, a benchmark 78 event over 1400m.
Just Folk, a winner of four of 10 career starts, is having his first start since launching a successful raid across the South Australian border by winning a strong benchmark 64 race at Murray Bridge on July 3.
Julius had flirted with the idea of running Just Folk, a gelding by Magnus out of Fast Ruby, in Friday's $100,000 Mildura Cup (1400m), but has opted for Caulfield instead.
He said the gelding had suffered a slight setback on his return from South Australia, but was confident he was on the up.
"He got a bit of a foot abscess when he came back from Adelaide, so the three weeks in between runs will do him good," he said.
"He's also a horse who can put on condition pretty quick, so having a light week after Adelaide, while he didn't blow out, I certainly couldn't get him in to his normal routine as early as I would have liked.
"He galloped well on the course proper (on Tuesday morning) and had a bit of a blow; that will tighten him up no dramas at all.
"Another run should tighten him up again."
Just Folk has continued to make good strides since winning on debut as a three-year-old at Echuca last July.
After finishing fourth in the Ballan Cup (1512m) at Geelong last November, he went on to score his maiden city win over 1500m at Sandown at the end of the month.
Just Folk returned to racing from a more than 20-week spell with an encouraging fourth at benchmark 70 level at Sandown on May 23, ahead of his third-up win at Murray Bridge.
Meanwhile, a strong contingent of Bendigo horses will chase victory at Friday's Mildura Cup meeting.
Plenty of interest surrounds the Arthur Pace-trained second-starter Colsridge ($2.25 in early betting), who will line up in the 1200m maiden (race two).
The four-year-old, to be ridden by Dean Holland, finished third on debut at Yarra Valley back in January and will enter this event on the back of a pair of impressive 800m jumpout wins at Bendigo in recent weeks.
Brendon Hearps will target the 1000m benchmark 70 with Zoutons ($2.70), with the three-year-old winner of two of five starts returning from an 18-week spell.
Adam O'Neill will be the first trainer to make an appearance with Celtic Samurai in the opening race.
He will back up later in the day with The Rich Fisher in a heat of the Mallee Sprint Series.
In-form trainer Shane Fliedner will send three horses north - Zoujea, Queen Guinevere and Surin Beach - while Erin Maher will saddle up Stern In Grinzing (race one) and Spiteful (race two).
The Mildura Cup meeting will be run for the second year in a row without crowds following this week's extension to Victoria's COVID lockdown.
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