A bigger field may have been expected for the ‘Golden Ticket’ up for grabs in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington.
The victor in Saturday’s race over 2800m gains a ballot exemption into the Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November.
A field of 10 will do battle on Saturday in the third offering of the ‘win and you’re in’ race with Danny O’Brien to saddle two runners.
Miami Bound and Salto Angel will chase the prize which takes the pressure off their trainer trying to gain a start in the Melbourne Cup field.
“Her runs in Sydney were good and the four weeks between runs is perfect,” O’Brien said.
“She’s been back down at Thirteenth Beach since Sydney and came up to Flemington to have a jump-out last Friday for a bit of a gallop and she couldn’t be better.”
While Miami Bound has won five of her 21 starts, Salto Angel has yet to breakthrough in 11 starts.
But she is a six-time runner-up, including last year’s VRC Oaks and at her most recent outing behind Through Irish Eyes, an opponent on Saturday, in the VRC St Leger.
“She’s a genuine mile-and-a-half filly and there are not a lot of options for her,” O’Brien said.
“Her run in the St Leger was good and I feel it’s the right time to try a three-year-old against the older horses with the good weight relief.
“We haven’t had to do too much with her having had that run three weeks ago over the same course and distance.”