Mick Price is confident his NZ import Ardrossan can live up to expectation in Saturday's Gr.2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m).
The Redoute's Choice colt was a Stakes winner at just his second start in New Zealand, and now his third start will see him tackle the likes of Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Merchant Navy, triple Group One winner Flamberge and William Reid Stakes winner Silent Sedition at Caulfield on Saturday.
While Price conceded he is raising the bar high with his 71-rater, he is confident he won't be disappointed post-race, with the Oakleigh Plate in mind with him.
"He's an exciting horse, I reckon," Price said.
"He works like a good colt, and trials like a good colt, and is supposed to be a good colt, so I think you'll find he flies the gates, puts himself up there and we'll see what he does under pressure.
"I'd love to see him win, I think you'll see a really good effort from him, and hopefully he can run in the first three if not win, and then go to the Oakleigh Plate.
"He's a three-year-old, and we're asking a bit of him."
Price's Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss is nearing his resuming run in the Gr.1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m).
Taking on the older horses in the A$500,000 feature is naturally not going to suit the three-year-old, but Price is using it and the Futurity Stakes as a yardstick for his assault on the Australian Guineas.
"He's had a really good prep - I can't help him too much more,” Price said.
"If it was an average 1400-metre race, he'd probably go and win - but it's a C.F. Orr.
"A couple of Weiry's big guns, Tosen Stardom and Brave Smash [and Black Heart Bart], if they're right, they're going to be hard to beat." -racing.com