If the Australia Stakes was run anywhere but Moonee Valley, It Is Written would be staying at home.
But given the gelding’s affinity with the unique circuit, trainer Robbie Griffiths is happy to roll the dice and give the six-year-old another shot in the Group Two sprint.
It Is Written’s best win has been at Listed level but he finished third in last year’s Australia Stakes and Griffiths would be thrilled if he can run in the placings again on Saturday.
“He’s a far better horse at Moonee Valley than any other metropolitan track so we try to keep him there,” Griffiths said.
“He’s OK at Caulfield and is a stakes winner there but he’s far better at Moonee Valley so when a race comes up there, even if it is a bit too strong for him which this appears to be on paper, he can run above himself at that venue.”
It Is Written won a 1200m open handicap at Moonee Valley at his most recent start on December 12, his sixth win there from 17 starts.
He has placed another five times at the track.
Griffiths said It Is Written is in good order but is also realistic about his winning chances coming up against multiple Group One winner Dissident at level weights.
“Realistically he can’t beat Dissident. He’s a faster horse, he’s a three-time Group One winner and he’s just better than us,” Griffiths said.
“And at weight-for-age the best horses win because on a handicap scale we’d be getting weight relief off him but at weight-for-age we don’t.
“So certainly weight-for-age is a negative for us.
“But he loves the Valley and he always runs above himself at this venue so we’ll have a crack.”
The race was has been reduced to eight runners after last year’s winner Richie’s Vibe was scratched because he had to be given medication on Thursday.
“He was in the pool this morning and just got a bit of pool colic and had to have a bit of treatment,” trainer Paul Beshara said.
Beshara said he hadn’t discussed a revised first-up plan with the sprinter’s connections but expects him to kick off somewhere in the next few weeks.
It Is Written is at $7.50 on the fourth line of betting with Dissident, who hasn’t started since he bled in the Caulfield Stakes in October, an odds-on favourite at $1.85.