Late entry Streets Of Avalon will take on a star-studded field in the Group One Futurity Stakes.
Shane Nichols is realistic about Streets Of Avalon’s chances of upstaging some established stars in the Futurity Stakes but the trainer is adamant the sprinter-miler has something in his favour.
Nichols and connections of Streets Of Avalon are preparing to run the five-year-old on a seven-day back-up in Saturday’s weight-for-age Group One Futurity (1400m) at Caulfield, hoping he will be able to give plenty of cheek in front.
Streets Of Avalon, a winner of seven of his 42 starts and more than $850,000 prize money, was a late nomination and features among eight acceptors headlined by 10-time Group One winner Melody Belle, Caulfield Guineas-winning colt Super Seth and Epsom Handicap winner Kolding.
Streets Of Avalon was chased down by Galaxy Raider to finish a close second in a 1400m handicap at Flemington on Saturday, carrying 5.5kg more than the winner.
“He’s hard-fit and we thought there was no natural speed in the race so he’ll be able to lead,” Nichols said.
“There’s some quality there, I’m not sure we can win the race but he can certainly run well if he’s allowed to control it.”
Streets Of Avalon was a $26 chance on Wednesday with the resuming New Zealand star Melody Belle ($2.70) shading Super Seth ($2.80) for favouritism.
Nichols said they were in two minds whether to nominate on Monday but realising entries would be extended it gave them time to consider the likely opposition and decide if there were enough positives to run him against a small-but-select field at a track where the gelding races well.
Streets Of Avalon finished fourth in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last spring on a seven-day back-up.
Also during 2019 he won the Group Three Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington when backing up.
“There was enough there, and he’s had a pretty good week this week and he backs up well,” Nichols said.
“He’s got to probably run career-best to run top three, but he’s certainly in good shape.
“He’ll be a long price but he’s not the worst in it, that’s for sure.
“I think he’s a chance to run third or fourth. You need to be realistic. There’s three or four pretty good horses in it but he will represent himself well.”