Uncommon James bound for Group 1 Oakleigh Plate

Matt Hoysted has revealed the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate will be the bumper autumn target for exciting star Uncommon James, as a stablemate who wears the same colours is set to announce his starpower at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Uncommon James blew his rivals away in a Stakes race on his Melbourne debut in August, prompting bookmakers to elevate him to the top of betting charts for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

But a minor setback ruled Uncommon James out of the rest of the spring, with Hoysted and co-trainer Steve O’Dea now setting their sights on big fish to fry in the Melbourne autumn.

“He will go back to Melbourne for a crack at the Oakleigh Plate, where he will get in well at the weights,” Hoysted confirmed.

Meanwhile, up-and-coming stablemate Birriecart is also setting tongues wagging.

Wearing the colours of owner/breeder Caitlin Hoysted, the wife of Matt, Birriecart made it four wins from five starts when returning from a spell at Doomben earlier this month.

The four-year-old was bred in the same year as Uncommon James and attracted huge offers from overseas after his first barrier trial, before getting further interest after winning his first three starts last year.

Birriecart is the hot $1.95 favourite to continue on his winning ways in a BM85 Handicap over 1200m at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

“What he has showed us at home from day one is that he is well above average,” Hoysted said.

“After he won his trial really impressively we got offered big money off that trial which we knocked back as we had a really big opinion of him.

“Once we get him to 1400(m) that will probably be his pet trip, he has a massive action and a high cruising speed and can quicken off a hot tempo.

“He was a bit of a handful as a young horse but he has come good now, I think he will be even better in another six months when he matures more mentally.

“The summer carnival will be upon us soon enough, he could have a little freshen in between.”

The camp considered racing Birriecart at Toowoomba last Saturday, on Weetwood Handicap day, but felt he would be better suited at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

“He gets in attractively at the weights in this race, on the minimum (54kg),” Hoysted said.

“He’s drawn to get the right run with no weight on his back, as long as he handles Eagle Farm he can get the job done again.”

Birriecart has been rock solid in betting however second pick Sweet Margot May has plenty of support, firming from $4.60 to $3.70 since betting markets opened.

Originally published as Star Queensland galloper Uncommon James has Group 1 target as stablemate Birriecart looks to shine