Having tested Mustajeer in an exhibition gallop, top jockey Kerrin McEvoy is looking forward to warming the saddle on the imported stayer in the Sky High Stakes at Rosehill.
Hugh Bowman partnered Mustajeer to his first-up win in the Parramatta Cup but will be in Melbourne on Saturday to ride Kolding in the All-Star Mile, replacing the suspended Glen Boss.
McEvoy took the opportunity to test Mustajeer in a solo gallop between races at the Newcastle Newmarket meeting on Friday and said the horse was in good shape.
“He felt nice and happy and relaxed and had a cruisy day out,” McEvoy said.
“It was just good to have a feel of him before I ride him next week.
“”It was a good win first-up and if it stays a little bit damp it’s not going to hurt his chances either.”
A stakes winner over a staying trip in England, Mustajeer was bought by syndicators Australian Bloodstock for a spring Cups campaign.
The horse showed his true colours with a dominant last-start win under 60.5kg and trainer Kris Lees expected the set weights plus penalties conditions of Saturday’s Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill to suit his charge.
“It will be a lot stronger than the Parramatta Cup but he’s in well under the conditions of the race,” Lees said.
Lees is lukewarm on a Sydney Cup start for Mustajeer and says the Group One Tancred Stakes, formerly the BMW, is more likely.
“I doubt that he will go to the Sydney Cup. He still has to prove he’s a genuine two-miler and he’s weighted right up to his best in the 2020 Sydney Cup so I think the BMW is a good target,” Lees said.
Melbourne Cup placegetter Il Paradiso could also line up in the Sky High, although trainer Chris Waller will also nominate him for the Ajax Stakes (1500m).
The horse looked sharp in a race day gallop at Randwick on Saturday and Waller said he had done everything right since joining the stable.
“It was good work and he hasn’t missed a beat since he’s been with us,” Waller said.
“I’m tossing up whether we run him over 1500 metres or 2000 metres first-up. I think we’ll go Sky High Stakes.
“I don’t want to get too serious with him in the autumn because we’ll have a good crack at the 2020 Melbourne Cup.”