Red Excitement has done enough in a barrier trial to convince his trainer he is ready to run in the Warwick Stakes but Gerald Ryan is under no illusions he can beat Winx.
Stablemate, Australian Derby runner-up Harper’s Choice, will join Red Excitement in Satrurday’s Group Two Warwick Stakes at Randwick where Ryan says they are running for second.
Red Excitement tuned up for Saturday with a second in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Monday while Harper’s Choice started his campaign with a midfield finish in the Missile Stakes on August 5 won by Invincible Gem.
“As long as the track stays dry, Red Excitement will run with Josh Parr to ride,”” Ryan said.
“Glyn Schofield will ride Harper’s Choice.
“Harper’s Choice has only won a maiden and a benchmark race at Canterbury and if he could run a place behind Winx that would look OK.
“He needs to get his rating up to run in the bigger races and will probably have to take her on in the Chelmsford Stakes anyway.
“I didn’t take him to the trials because I think he is fit enough although he is a hard horse to get a gauge on from his work.”
Ecuador and Inference, who are both entered for the race, also trialled at Warwick Farm.
There were 11 nominations taken on Monday for what Zanbagh’s trainer John Thompson described as the Winx Stakes.
Zanbagh is also entered for the Toy Show Quality (1300m) with Invincible Gem also nominated in both races.
The TAB posted Winx at $1.10 in its opening market with Invincible Gem second-elect at $13 but trainer Kris Lees is not certain to accept in either race.
Chris Waller has mapped out a four or five-start lead-in to the Cox Plate for Winx, leaving room in case she happened to miss a race through bad weather or any other circumstance.