Group One winner Le Romain is the punters’ pick to begin his four-year-old season on a high at Randwick but he may find some stiff opposition from a couple of hardened campaigners.
Decision Time sprung an upset in the Group Three sprint a year ago as an eight-year-old and is back to try to do the same on Saturday.
Another veteran, Famous Seamus, will also be out to upstage his younger rivals with his trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith keen to get his campaign started on an improving track.
Now an eight-year-old, Famous Seamus has had mixed fortunes throughout his career, winning the Group One BTC Cup in May 2014 but striking wet tracks in many of his other assignments.
“He is a horse who is weather dependent and wet tracks rule him out of a lot of races,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“He’s working well. He has trialled well and the sun’s out so that’s positive.
“He normally improves off his first run but he has conditions to suit and could run well first-up.”
Although mindful Famous Seamus is getting older, Mayfield-Smith says he shows no signs of his age and the trainer goes to Randwick encouraged by race jockey Jay Ford’s assessment of the gelding.
“Jay rode him on Tuesday morning and said he still has the same enthusiasm for his work that he’s always had,” he said.
“Age isn’t worrying him and the times he runs are the same as they have always been so that says something.”
Mayfield-Smith has the Tramway Stakes at Randwick and the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle as early targets.
“We will look at taking him back to Melbourne or even look at Western Australia,” he said.
“As always it depends on the weather.”
The Kris Lees-trained Randwick Guineas winner Le Romain holds favouritism at $4 ahead of last year’s third placed Vashka at $4.40.