New Zealand-bred galloper Grunt is set to line-up in the inaugural A$5million All Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday and trainer Mick Price is expecting a strong showing from the dual Group One winner.
The four-year-old son of O’Reilly finished midfield in the Gr.3 Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap (1400m) when sporting Yulong’s green colours for the first time earlier this month.
Grunt carried 61.5kg when finishing sixth to Violate in that race and Price is happy with the way he has come through his first-up run and believes the mile distance will suit his charge on Saturday.
"He worked super on Saturday morning," Price said. "I'm very happy with him and he's on the up and up all the time.
"He'll show up in the All-Star Mile and give a really good account of himself.
"He was beaten 2.9 lengths first-up. Perhaps if he would have run third everyone says, 'he's just about to win'.
"You will see him turn up in the mile and you will see him run really well."
Price has identified multiple Group One-winning mare Alizee as the one to beat in the rich mile feature.
"She has got to be the one to beat," Price said. "She's trained at the track and she's in sparkling weight-for-age form. She's got to be the clear pick."