A scan of the entries for the Group Two Australia Stakes made the race hard to resist for trainer Doug Harrison with three-year-old Tudor.
Harrison was not initially planning for Tudor to head to the weight-for-age sprint at Moonee Valley on Saturday and instead had a Group Three assignment on Monday in mind for the colt against his own age.
That soon changed.
“We were looking at the Manfred Stakes and then I was scrolling though (the program) and I thought we should have him entered in this race anyway and just have a look at it, because he does love the Valley,” Harrison said.
“And as it’s turned out it’s not a bad move, hopefully. We’ll know tomorrow.”
The Australia Stakes has attracted a field of nine and that has since been reduced by one with the scratching of last year’s winner Richie’s Vibe.
Multiple Group One winner Dissident is the clear-cut favourite at $1.85 while Tudor holds the second line of betting at $4.60.
Harrison’s nephew Craig Williams takes the ride and the trainer is convinced Tudor is a genuine chance in the 1200m race as he bids to earn black type for the first time.
“It’s a weight for age race and it’s a bit of a step up, but it’s probably not the strongest weight-for-age race,” Harrison said.
“He’s still a colt and it’s a Group Two race. It will look good on his CV if he can do something in this race. And I think he will.”
He rates Dissident as the obvious horse to fear but is hoping 1200m is short of his pet distance.
The trainer believes stakes-winning sprinter Hard Stride will also prove hard to beat and says track specialist It Is Written has to be respected.
They are the only four horses under double figure odds.
Tudor won a Moonee Valley race for three-year-olds in September.
He finished second to Fast Cash first-up in the VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m) earlier this month.
“I think Fast Cash is a pretty smart horse in the making and I think our horse has improvement in him from last time because he hadn’t trialled going into it,” Harrison said.
Black Caviar is the most recent three-year-old to win the Australia Stakes in 2010 while the last colt to win was California Dane in 2006.