Godolphin look to have a stranglehold on the Group One Canterbury Stakes with three runners, headed by outstanding sprinter and race favourite Bivouac.
The two best sprinters in the country will be in action at Randwick on Saturday, albeit in different races.
Nature Strip and Bivouac clashed first up in the Black Caviar Lightning in Melbourne with the former proving too slick for his rival over 1000 metres.
With the defection of The Everest winner Classique Legend to Hong Kong, Nature Strip and Bivouac both have claims to bragging rights as Australia’s eminent sprinter, a title likely to be decided when they clash in next month’s T J Smith Stakes during The Championships.
But both will be striving to underline their credentials at Randwick and trainer James Cummings expects Bivouac to be back to his dynamic self over the longer journey.
“The 1300 metres will give him a little extra time to find his feet. He should be camped just off the pace and then sprint quickly,” Cummings said.
“He usually takes a run to get going and the fiercely run Lightning Stakes should prove to be an excellent screenplay for Saturday’s feature.”
Stablemate Savatiano is regarded as Bivouac’s biggest threat after returning with an authoritative win in the Expressway Stakes in January.
She has a superior record at 1300 metres but she can be vulnerable second up.
Cummings will also start comeback galloper Kementari, who won the Randwick Guineas on the corresponding program three years ago.
The six-year-old returned to racing last year after fertility issues cut short his stud career and Cummings was buoyed to see him claim a Group Three triumph over Celebrity Queen during the Perth summer carnival.
“His return to form in Perth was most satisfying and the Oakleigh Plate dead-heat victory of Celebrity Queen suggests that the Western Australian form line is quite strong,” Cummings said.
Written by Mandy Cottell