If recent history is anything to go by, Saturday’s Ming Dynasty Quality at Warwick Farm might just unearth a future star.
The 1400-metre event only holds Listed status but has proven to be a strong form race, particularly over the past three seasons.
Lion Tamer won last year en route to claiming the Group One Victoria Derby while in 2009 So You Think finished second before going on to take out the first of his two Cox Plates.
Three years ago Predatory Pricer was successful and he too was to go on to bigger things, finishing runner-up in the 2008 Spring Champion Stakes and returning the following season with Group One placings in the Underwood and Turnbull Stakes in Melbourne.
Predatory Pricer was trained by Paul Murray whose father Bede will start this year’s Ming Dynasty favourite Darci Be Good.
The winner of the Listed Fernhill Hcp (1600m) in the autumn, Darci Be Good returned with a solid victory over Chelmsford Stakes hopeful Strike The Stars at Rosehill on August 13.
He was at $2.90 with TAB Sportsbet on Thursday ahead of Fernhill Handicap runner-up Cocky Raider at $4.80.
Cocky Raider will tackle Saturday’s race first-up and trainer David Payne says he will improve on whatever he shows.
“He’s come back well but he will probably need the run,” Payne said.
“His main mission is the Spring Champion and the Gloaming.
“We’ll put him in the (Victoria) Derby and have a look at that as well.”
The Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on October 1 is also the aim for the Clarry Conners-trained Irish Times.
He was rated at $21 for the Ming Dynasty but Conners was pleased with his first-up fourth to Manawanui in the Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) and said the rise in trip would suit his charge.
“He ran a very fast last sectional first-up,” Conners said.
“I’m pretty happy with him and he’ll be suited over 1400 to 1600 metres.”