While many of the country's best harness racing 3yo's are plotting a course to Melbourne this week for the prestigious Gr.1 $200,000 Alabar Victoria Derby series, a potential superstar will quietly head back to the trial track.
Boom colt Three Over Three will step out this Tuesday at TABCORP Park, Menangle for a steady workout.
Connections made the early call of bypassing the Victoria Derby in preference of more paddock time after a dream debut season which landed the Mach Three colt the title of Australian 2yo Pacing Colt of the Year after scoring in the rich Australasian Breeders Crown Final back in August.
Trainer Paul Fitzpatrick believes the season ahead will be long and arduous but the extra downtime will be a blessing in disguise as he plots his path for more feature race glory.
"He's in extremely good condition; he spelled very well and while he didn't grow a great deal, he has thickened up very nicely in the areas he needed to so I'm looking forward to the season ahead." Fitzpatrick said.
The first major target of the new season will be the Gr.1 $200,000NSW Derby on April 28.
"Our local Derby is the primary target, there will be plenty of nice races before and after that event but the Sydney Derby is the main focus.
"Another tilt at the Australasian Breeders Crown is obviously another big priority while races like the NSW Breeders Challenge and a trip to Queensland for their Derby are also highly likely.
"The 3yo season can be quite taxing but this colt is very special and I'm sure his true potential will be realised."
Fitzpatrick was loathe to compare his current stable star with his former juvenile freak.
The flashy grey won 17 of his 18 starts during his rookie season before returning as a 3yo to win the Victoria, Tasmania and Australian Derby's.
"There is no need to draw comparisons or similarities between the two horses, they're both exceptionally talented.
"Let's just hope that this guy can be even better and win lots of great races for Richard (Fraser - owner)."
Three Over Three won't be asked for anything in his trial this Tuesday with his astute mentor just looking for a positive start point.
"He's not there to run a record, it's just about putting the miles back into his legs and blowing out the dust he's collected during his break.
"He's likely to have a couple of trials before we start looking for a suitable race to kick-start his campaign.
Three Over Three will be driven by Gavin Fitzpatrick.
by Chris Barsby