Top Drop might be just a rung below the top level but he might also be in the right place at the right time to claim a big race win in the Randwick Guineas.
The Gerald Ryan-trained colt has raced through the summer and goes into Saturday’s Group One at Warwick Farm hard-fit while many of his rivals are gearing up for the longer Classics over the autumn.
“The Randwick Guineas is his grand final,” Ryan said.
“I don’t know if he is up to the likes of Ilovethiscity but he’s an honest little fellow and deserves his chance at the Group One.
“There is a good race in him, whether it’s now I’m not sure.”
The Randwick Guineas (1600m) attracted 14 entries including the Grahame Begg-trained Ilovethisity and Darley pair Retrieve and Skilled who filled the placings in the Group Two Hobartville Stakes in which Top Drop was sixth.
Apprentice Nathan Berry retains the ride on Top Drop who has had five starts since December.
He resumed on December 5 with a nose second to Torio’s Quest in the Magic Millions Stakes at Wyong then beat Triple Elegance at Randwick on Boxing Day.
Triple Elegance has gone on to win three from four including Saturday’s Liverpool City Cup which propelled him into the field for next month’s Doncaster Mile.
Guineas entries also included Absolutelyawesome from Mike Moroney’s Melbourne stable who will be ridden by Glen Boss who steered Shamrocker to victory in Saturday’s Australian Guineas at Flemington.
Victoria Derby runner-up Praecido and his David Payne-trained stablemate Masquerader were also nominated along with fillies Chula Vista and Slow The Flow.
Ryan said Top Drop’s stablemate Melito had come through Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes won by Danleigh in fine shape and would continue her Group One campaign.
Melito started favourite in the Chipping Norton but had to work hard early to find a position from the outside alley and finished fifth.
“She’s pulled up really well,” Ryan said.
“I’ll pay up tomorrow for the Doncaster and I’m thinking about running her in the Coolmore as well as the Queen Of The Turf before the Doncaster.
“It fits in well with the races all two weeks apart.”
Melito won two Group One sprint races last season but her campaign this time around has been geared towards longer races.
The Coolmore Classic (1500m) is on March 19 followed by the Queen Of The Turf on April 2 and the Doncaster Mile on April 16.
First acceptances for the Doncaster will be taken on Tuesday along with nominations for the AJC Australian Derby, the AJC Australian Oaks and the Sydney Cup.