Three-year-old Bottega has been installed the early favourite for the Listed Lord Mayors Cup at Rosehill but will need two scratchings to be assured a start.
The Gerald Ryan-trained colt is second emergency in a capacity Lord Mayors Cup field of 16 plus three reserves for Saturday’s 2000m race with Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller having eight acceptors and Kris Lees four.
Bottega, impressive winner over 1800m in benchmark grade at Randwick last start was the early $3.80 favourite on Wednesday with recent Scone Cup winner Dr Drill equal second favourite at $6.50.
“We haven’t decided yet. We’ll work that out today,” Maher and Eustace’s Sydney stable representative Annabel Neasham said about Dr Drill’s plans.
“He can head up there (to Queensland) if we prefer that option, or he can stay here or he could even wait a week and go to a mile race next Saturday.”
Neasham said Dr Drill had come through the Scone Cup well and was a horse who will be targeted towards some big handicaps in the spring.
Dr Drill’s stablemate Mask Of Time is also a Lord Mayors Cup acceptor given he could get rain-affected conditions to suit with Rosehill rated heavy on Wednesday.
Mask Of Time had his most recent start in Queensland at the Sunshine Coast on a good-rated track, finishing unplaced, and Neasham said he was scheduled to travel back to Sydney on Thursday.
“Mask Of Time has drawn awkwardly (barrier 16) so again we’ll have a look at that but he’s been desperate for a wet track,” Neasham said.
“He’s a far better horse on a heavy track so I’d say if it can stay in that range he’d probably line up even from that sort of gate.
“He’s still up there (Queensland) and the plan had been the Chairman’s Handicap but it’s not going to be wet enough so he’ll head down in the truck tomorrow.”
The imported Mask Of Time’s only win in Australia has been a dead-heat in the Group Three Coongy Cup at Caulfield during the 2018 spring.
Three starts ago he was a close second in the Group Three Doncaster Prelude on rain-affected going at Rosehill.