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The Group Two Grand Prix Stakes at Doomben is the traditional lead-up to the Queensland Derby but a benchmark race at Randwick could hold another key.

Several runners in Saturday’s 2000m race in Sydney will test their claims for the final Classic of the Australian racing season.

The Chris Waller-trained Mackintosh is the favourite for the Grand Prix and the Derby but his stablemates Rodrico and Pursuit Of Honour can earn the right to run against him if they perform at Randwick.

Rodrico won at Warwick and Randwick before running fourth in a 1900m race at Rosehill won by stablemate Encosta Line from Chandana and Romantic Maid.

Pursuit Of Honour broke his maiden at Newcastle on May 7 before running second to leading Queensland Oaks contender Romantic Maid.

“Rodrico was a bit keen last time and can improve,” Waller said.

“Pursuit Of Honour has come from nowhere and this will be a good race to see how good he is.”

New Zealanders Sonorous and Street Smart also run in the Randwick race with the Derby in mind as do New Tipperary and Maven Wiz.

The Joe Pride-trained New Tipperary has won his past three starts and will be having his first attempt at longer than 1580m.

“He gives the impression he will be able to get over ground,” Pride said.

Maven Wiz has already shown his trainer Anthony Cummings he has staying potential with recent wins over 2100m at Wyong and Gosford.

That Gosford win was on Tuesday so he will have to prove his toughness to warrant the trip to Brisbane.

 
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