Canberra trainer Matthew Dale admits to being a little bemused by the nominations for the Kensington Stakes at Flemington.
Dale has Unanimously entered in Saturday’s 1000m Listed race and as the highest rated of the 17 nominations he will carry the top weight.
The trainer said the options available to a horse like Unanimously with his rating, were not great and ideally he would have liked a lighter handicap.
“I was quite surprised at the lack of ratings there among the nominations,” Dale said.
“I suppose it’s just a little bit early for the more higher-rated sprinters to be up and running.
“A horse like him there are only a select number of races they can go in.
“He’s rated 99 and he’s a sprinter and those sorts of races don’t come around very often.”
It won’t however stop Unanimously making the trip south with Craig Williams booked to ride.
Williams was suspended at Moonee Valley on Saturday night, but took the penalty straight away allowing him to ride at Saturday’s meeting.
Unanimously chased Platelet home at Moonee Valley first-up last campaign and this time goes into the race after a jump-out and a 900m Canberra barrier trial win in a smart 53.59secs on December 30.
The seven-year-old’s only experience of the Flemington straight track was in June 2011 when he finished 2-1/2 lengths from the winner Livandletdie in the Creswick Stakes.
“He has performed well first-up in the past,” Dale said.
“He’s raced up the straight once previously and they’re usually better off for that experience.
“He’s forward enough to expect a showing.”
Among the nominations for the race are last Thursday’s impressive winner The Quarterback, Saturday’s Moonee Valley winner Override and Sweet Emily who set a Moonee Valley 1000m record on December 27.
Trainer Robbie Laing has covered several bases with three-year-old Boomwaa who has been nominated for three races at Flemington including the Kensington Stakes and a 1400m benchmark 95 at Randwick.