The Listed McKell Cup might be the feature race at Rosehill but the two-year-old sprint is threatening to take its share of the limelight at the meeting.
Nominations for Saturday’s 1100m-race include several last-start winners, among them Exceedance who defied logic to win at Wyong on debut on May 16.
Trained by Hawkes Racing, Exceedance came from second last with an explosive turn of foot to win for Tommy Berry.
Among his opposition on Saturday is King’s Champ who won over 1000m on the May 10, the first day of the Scone carnival.
By first season sire Deep Field, the Gerald Ryan-trained King’s Champ is out of multiple Group One winner Yosei and is a home-bred for Sun Stud.
“This is a good two-year-old race for this time of year,” Ryan said.
“Exceedance was impressive but King’s Champ’s last two runs have also been good and he’s done well since.”
Before his Scone win, King’s Champ was a long head second to the front-running Bengally Bay who has won again.
Ryan is unsure of future plans for King’s Champ but is mindful the spring racing will come around sooner rather than later.
“There is not a big turnaround and he needs to get his prize money up to get into the better races,” he said.
“It’s only a couple of months until the new season three-year-old races.”
While unsure of the youngster’s targets, Ryan has a more immediate goal for older sprinter Deploy, third behind Trekking and Brave Song in the Listed Luskin Star at Scone.
“He will paid up for the Stradbroke tomorrow and then he will trial on Friday after which we will make a final decision whether he goes to Brisbane,” Ryan said.
“He has done well since Scone and so far I’m happy with him.”
The McKell Cup (2400m) attracted strong nominations headed by last year’s winner Destiny’s Kiss who has 59kg.
Equal topweight Home By Midnight is likely to race in Melbourne with a forecast of rain ahead of Saturday’s Caulfield meeting.