Heavenly Anna will attempt to prevent Test The World racking up a fifth successive win but Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker is more concerned about her lightweight rivals at Randwick.
While the Bjorn Baker-trained Test The World has been in eye-catching form ahead of Saturday, Parker fears the biggest threats to the temperamental pre-race favourite Heavenly Anna in the Schweppes Handicap (1400m) are market outsiders.
With top weight of 61kg, Heavenly Anna is conceding 11kg to Stilettoed Vixen and 9.5kg to Lani Girl after the claims of apprentices Brock Ryan and Andrew Adkins.
“I put down the hardest to beat as the horses at the bottom,” Parker said.
“You get a lot of lightweights with kids on them winning those races. When you start giving them 9-10 kilos that’s a lot of weight, especially on a heavy track.”
Booking an apprentice for the Heavenly Anna is not an option for Parker because she is notoriously difficult to handle, as Blaike McDougall discovered two starts ago at Randwick where she ran seventh.
“I thought I’d put a kid on her over 1200 because not much will go wrong but he couldn’t get her to go early,” Parker said.
“As much as you’d like to claim, you probably won’t get the same sort of run.”
Senior jockey Jay Ford stays on and has developed a rapport with the mare.
“You’ve got to ride her with kid gloves and soft hands,” Parker said.
“Jay’s got to know her pretty well even before she started racing, but the race still has to work out for him.”
Parker was encouraged by Heavenly Anna’s last-start win on a heavy Randwick track on June 10 and he welcomed the same conditions for Saturday.
“A heavy track is in our favour and barrier six out of nine is fine,” he said.
“My main worry is the weight.”