Superbly-bred colt Rekindled Alliance will wear blinkers for the first time as trainer Paul Messara looks for an edge over his Spring Champion Stakes rivals.
Messara said he’d been keeping the gear change up his sleeve and felt Saturday’s Group One feature at Randwick was a good opportunity to use them.
“I think they will help him to focus,” Messara said.
“He’s been a bit wayward in his races and a bit green because he’s still learning.
“He’s worn blinkers in his work and I was very pleased, they really made him focus on what he was doing.
“I’m confident he will race well in them.”
The Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) has attracted 10 starters and five of them are under double-figure odds.
TAB Sportsbet had Gloaming Stakes winner Strike The Stars a clear $2.90 favourite on Thursday but the next four were compact in betting.
Rekindled Alliance was second pick at $5 ahead of Darci Be Good ($5.50), Ambidexter ($6) and Doctor Doom ($7).
All will be stepping out over 2000 metres for the first time but Messara has no qualms about Rekindled Alliance coping with the distance.
But he does have concerns over the likelihood of a wet track.
Rekindled Alliance is unknown on a surface worse than dead and Messara has no inkling how he will handle slow or heavy ground.
“This has always been the grand final for us so I’m hoping for a fair track,” Messara said.
“But we’ll roll the dice and see what happens.”
Rekindled Alliance is a valuable stud prospect being by Redoute’s Choice out of Rekindled Affair and a full-brother to Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes winner Rekindled Interest.
He has shown enormous potential in his three starts, winning on debut and failing by a short neck and a neck at his subsequent runs.
He has the outside gate on Saturday but Messara isn’t treating that as a negative just yet.
“We’ll see how the weather plays and decide our tactics on the day,” he said.
“But it may even be a positive being drawn wide if the track is rain-affected.”
Corey Brown has partnered Rekindled Alliance at all three start and sticks with him in the Group One.