Dual Group One winner Grunt will tackle the Gr.3 The TAB Shaftsbury Avenue Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday in the lead-up to the inaugural A$5 million All Star Mile (1600m) in a fortnight’s time.
Trainer Mick Price is happy with the son of O’Reilly heading into Saturday’s contest and is hoping he will be able to get some clear running room in the race.
“He’s going really well,” Price said. “Barrier five is a possible traffic gate for him. We are going from 1400m straight into a mile, so I need a good hit-out, hoping they do stretch in that race.
“I’m hoping he doesn’t get cluttered up and it’s a non-event run for him because he’s a big long striding horse who needs a bit of room about him. That’s in the lap of the gods tomorrow.
“I am really happy with the horse, I think his attitude is great. He’s an entire and races in the Yulong colours for the first time.”
Price is looking forward to the All Star Mile and said Grunt should be pried for the lucrative race.
“I think he will be pretty prime when he gets in to the All Star Mile,” he said. “We have had a nice run up with the horse.”
Meanwhile, Price will attempt to add another Group One victory to Seabrook’s tally when he lines-up the three-year-old filly in the Gr.1 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The daughter of Hinchinbrook, bred by Wayne Jeffries, is heading into the race fresh-up and her trainer believes she will put in a good showing and is not too concerned with drawing gate 10 in the Group One.
“First up, drawing an outside gate, I’m happy to ride her off the speed,” Price said.
“She’s a bit flexible that filly. If you draw a gate you can put her up there. She’s going fantastic and she handles Sydney really well.
“I think that if we ride cold you will see her getting home really well.
“She worked Wednesday up there, she travelled up there last week. She has worked the reverse way a couple of times here (Caulfield), so she has no problem with Sydney.
“She’s beautiful, bigger and stronger. Fitness in a Group One may pinch her in the last 100m, but I expect her to be running on into the finish.” – NZ Racing Desk