Goldman changes tack for Group One bid

By: Sophie Moore Tuesday 16 October 2018

Kurt Goldman has learnt from past mistakes in finalising Eckstein's build-up to the Group One Empire Rose Stakes.

Eckstein will have her lead-in run in Sydney despite winning the Paris Lane Stakes over 1400m in a timely return to form at Flemington at her most recent start.

Goldman will send his stable star back in distance to contest the Group Three Nivison over 1200m at Randwick on Saturday.

"I know it doesn't seem ideal going back to 1200 metres when you're going to a mile but she's a different horse this year," Goldman told Sky Sports Radio.

"I'm pretty happy with the decision."

Eckstein was narrowly beaten by Shoals in last year's Group One race at Flemington, the premier weight-for-age test for fillies and mares during the Melbourne spring carnival.

Goldman said the Nivison made more appeal than the Tristarc Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield because the Melbourne racetrack had presented its difficulties for the mare.

As such, he is hoping to follow a template used by fellow NSW trainer Ron Quinton last year with Dixie Blossoms.

Dixie Blossoms finished fourth in the Nivison before being on the wrong end of a three-way photo finish at Flemington.

Goldman said it was more beneficial to bring Eckstein home to familiar surroundings rather than stabling her in Melbourne.

"I just felt there was no point I guess taking her back - the only 1400-metre race this week was at Caulfield - she ran there last year and she didn't get around Caulfield that great," he said.

Goldman says Eckstein is much fitter and easier to train version of the horse who went so close to a Group One breakthrough last year.

"She's just different, everybody knows how quirky she can be. Even last year, she's always an in-progress sort of horse," he said.

"I seem to have a better handle on her work and progress and after going so close last year I hope she can go back this year and really turn the tables."

A win on Saturday will push Eckstein past $1 million in prize money earnings.

Goldman has Missed Out and Equal Balance nominated for the Highway Handicap but says barring a change in the weather the latter will probably be saved for Canterbury instead.