The VRC Champions Sprint has attracted 11 runners for the final Group 1 sprint race of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, with the Mark Walker-trained Imperatriz opening as an odds-on favourite.
After claiming the Moir Stakes and Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley in back-to-back Group 1 starts, the daughter of I Am Invincible is a -111.11 market elect for Saturday’s 1200m contest.
In her first look down the Flemington straight, Imperatriz will face 10 rivals, who have all run the track and trip at least once.
The only other runner in single figures lining up in the $3 million race is In Secret (+340) from the Godolphin stable.
The James Cummings-trained mare has only been down the Flemington straight twice, but in those starts she won the Coolmore Stud Stakes and Newmarket Handicap at Group 1 level as a three-year-old filly.
From three starts this campaign, In Secret is yet to record a victory, but her form in a straight line is impeccable.
Bella Nipotina (+900) will be on the seven-day backup, having beaten Private Eye and Think About It in the Giga Kick Stakes at Rosehill last weekend.
However, at her last two starts in Melbourne, the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained mare finished behind the two favourites in the autumn.
Henry Dwyer has given star mare Asfoora (+900) four weeks off, and she will return in the Champions Sprint to clash with Imperatriz again after she was beaten by the Kiwi mare in the Moir Stakes two starts back.
The daughter of Flying Artie is unbeaten down the straight but only has one placing from two starts at the 1200m.
The 2023 VRC Champions Sprint will be race six on the Flemington program, with the jump scheduled for 3:50pm AEDT.
Champions Sprint 2023 Field