Adrian Bott expects Dawn Passage to confirm his status as one of Sydney’s most exciting two-year-olds when he clashes with Accession in the inaugural $2 million Inglis Millennium at Warwick Farm.
The colt rocketed to the third line of Golden Slipper betting after producing a withering finish to win on debut at Randwick on January 26.
While a strong tempo played into the hands of the backmarker, his emphatic performance came as no surprise to the stable and Bott, Gai Waterhouse’s training partner, says the youngster has improved.
“He won with great authority. The race worked out well for him and Blake (Shinn) was able to position him to advantage,” Bott said.
“From everything we’ve seen and what he’s shown us in his demeanour and his work at home, he looks like he’s taken that improvement and he’s ready to put his best foot forward again on Saturday.”
Dawn Passage shades the Chris Waller-trained Accession for Inglis Millennium favouritism and the pair stifle betting with no other runners under double-figure odds.
Accession has won two of his three starts and Bott concedes he will be hard to beat.
“I’ve certainly got plenty of respect for him. He’s been very impressive,” he said.
Bott and Waterhouse will also be represented in the Inglis Millennium by Espaanyiah, a debut winner at Moonee Valley on October 27 who finished down the track behind Dawn Passage last start.
Bott has warned punters not to dismiss the daughter of I Am Invincible and says the tempo of the race worked against her last start.
“The race probably played more into the hands of Dawn Passage on that particular day,” Bott said.
“The hot speed was the undoing of a couple of horses up there in the lead and unfortunately Espaanyiah was one of the victims there from an inside draw.
“If you look past that performance and give her another chance, I think she can be competitive for us again.”
The Inglis Millennium will also mark an important milestone for Jamie Kah who will ride in Sydney for the first time after picking up the mount on Lady Naturaliste for Victorian trainer Matt Cumani.
The champion South Australian jockey recently relocated to Melbourne and made an immediate impact winning the Listed Kensington Stakes on Belwazi at her first ride at Flemington.
Lady Naturaliste is a $21 chance and will be one of two rides for Kah along with Honey Esprit for Clinton McDonald in the final event.