Such was the commanding size of retired trainer Peter Moody’s stable, the dispersal of his team has left scores of promising horses scattered around Australia.
Three-year-old El Venetian is one who foreshadowed his potential as a juvenile and is set to have his first start for new trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott in a colts and geldings’ maiden at Canterbury on Wednesday.
El Venetian has a Listed placing to his name, finishing third in the Blue Diamond Preview at Caulfield in January.
After being transferred to his new Sydney base, El Venetian was gelded and given an extended break.
“He went through a bit of a growth phase after his two-year-old career,” Bott said.
“We just had to give him time to mature. I think the owners have been rewarded for being patient there early on.
“I think they’ve got a really nice, progressive horse on their hands.”
El Venetian has had two barrier trials at Randwick, winning the most recent hit-out on November 15.
“He’s trialled in good order and we’re really pleased with him leading into Wednesday’s race,” Bott said.
“It looks a nice race for him to kick off in.”
Favourite Harper’s Choice finished second behind Sandown Guineas winner Morton’s Fork at Rosehill in July.
The Gerald Ryan-trained colt scored a three-length trial win at Rosehill on November 22, circling the field on the turn before pulling away to easily put a margin on the field.
Trainer Michael Freedman has Made In China in the race, a China Horse Club-owned horse in his fledgling stable full of two- and three-year-olds.
France will also carry the China Horse Club colours but is trained by Peter and Paul Snowden.
France was unplaced at his only two-year-old start but is a full sibling to Group One winner Peeping and won a Gosford trial on November 11.
Hawkes Racing-trained Thaad is a half-brother of Group Two winner Star Rolling and is set to make his debut along with Ivoryman from Joe Pride’s stable and the Jason Coyle-trained Fabricator.
Godolphin is stepping Armet up in class after he finished midfield in a maiden at Newcastle on November 13.
Harper’s Choice is the $2.50 top pick with El Venetian on the second line of betting at $4.20 and France next at $4.60.