John Sargent’s suspicion that speed will override the staying influence in the genes of richly bred Top Score will be put to an immediate test at Warwick Farm.
With his sire being High Chaparral, Top Score is bred to get over ground but Sargent expects the colt to be sharp enough to cope with an 1100m scamper on Wednesday.
Before his sudden death last year, High Chaparral left his mark in Australia as the sire of two-time Cox Plate winner So You Think as well as Classic winners It’s A Dundeel, Shoot Out and Monaco Consul.
“It will be interesting to see how far he does get actually because he could be more to the dam’s side than the High Chaparral side,” Sargent said.
Not that Sargent expects that will be a setback for three-year-old which has opened favourite to win the McGrath Estate Agents Plate.
Top Score’s mother Sarasota is the fourth foal from Piccadilly Circus, making her a sister to Fastnet Rock.
Rated Australia’s champion sprinter in 2005, Fastnet Rock has a become a marquee shuttle stallion for Coolmore Stud.
Sargent gave the go-ahead for Top Score to step out at Warwick Farm after the colt preserved an unbeaten record in barrier trials on his home track at Randwick.
In his latest barrier trial win over 1050m under Tye Angland, Top Score settled behind the leaders before easing across heels to put his rivals away with a minimum of effort.
“He’s taken a bit of time but he’s switched on now and ready to race,” Sargent said.
Angland takes the raceday ride as Top Score shades the Chris Waller-trained Gigolo for favouritism.
Gigolo was first-up since June when unplaced behind promising three-year-old Hellbent at Rosehill but there was much to like about the return after he was stranded on limb while racing outside the speed.