While Palazzo Pubblico attempts to win a Group One race in Queensland, trainer Matthew Smith will also have his eyes on stable stalwart Zin Zan Eddie at Randwick.
The six-year-old sprinter is one of 17 entries for Saturday’s Winter Dash and, while he hasn’t won at 1200 metres, the likelihood of a heavy track is a big tick in his favour.
“He will love the track and the distance is no worry,” Smith said.
“He’s probably best over 1400 metres but 1200 on a heavy track will bring the field back to him.
“The wetter the better.”
Jay Ford will ride the gelding while Michael Cahill will be aboard Palazzo Pubblico in the Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm, the final Group One race of the season.
Former Hong Kong sprinter Smart Volatility, now with John Sargent, is the 61kg topweight for the Winter Dash with Zin Zan Eddie to carry 56kg.
Smith said after the Winter Dash, Zin Zan Eddie would then head to the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) three weeks later.
The gelding won his first stakes race in January when he took out the Listed Carrington Stakes, also over 1400 metres.
“He has been a great horse for the stable,” Smith said.
“Apart from early on when he had a few knee issues when he was still immature and growing, he has always been sound.
“The Winter Stakes is the ideal race for him and 1400 metres is his best distance.”
Smith admits that distance is a query for Palazzo Pubblico in the Tatt’s Tiara but he is keen to give her a chance.
“She has only raced over 1400 once before but we want to give her another go,” he said.
“If she can run it, it opens up options for her in the spring.
“There are some ideal stakes races for her in Melbourne early in the new season.”