Adrian Bott expects Dawn Passage to be the big improver out of the Classique Legend Stakes as the horse looks to turn the tables on several last-start rivals in the $1 million The Hunter.
Dawn Passage is one of five horses emerging from the sprint race, won by top speedster Eduardo, along with minor placegetters Lost And Running and Standout, and Signore Fox (fifth) and Kementari (seventh).
While Dawn Passage finished eleventh, it was the five-year-old’s first start since April and Bott said he would strip much fitter for that effort.
“I’d say, coming into this race, I think he’s open to the most improvement out of all those other horses that he faced,” Bott said on Sydney’s Sky Sports radio.
“He bumped into a few who are deep into their campaign and are specialist sprinters.
“I thought he ran a really good race. He didn’t have much luck, he was caught wide and loomed into it really strongly but just peaked on that run, which was more than understandable, so I was more than satisfied with that first-up performance.”
Hush Writer will fly the flag for the stable in the $300,000 The Beauford (1300m) and drops two kilos on his last-start fourth in the City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick last start.
He heads to Saturday’s race at his fifth campaign run and ready to peak.
“I do think we’ve seen good improvement every time he’s stepped out,” Bott said.
“The slight step back in trip shouldn’t harm him. He seems to have come out of that race really well and I think he’s improved again.”
Bott is also upbeat about the chances of debutante Uncorked in the Max Lees Classic (900m).
Pierro filly was an impressive winner of her only trial, showing natural speed and then surging clear late and Bott said she had good race sense for a two-year-old.
“She did it nicely and showed good, sustained speed and good acceleration,” he said.
“I do find those 900 metre races at Newcastle a little bit tricky to prepare for, but off her trial, I thought she was a likely type and very professional in everything she did.”