Epsom Handicap placegetter Mackintosh has arrived in Melbourne as a fresh horse on the scene for the Cantala Stakes and will have Joao Moreira aboard when he chases his first Group One win.
His trainer Chris Waller has sent dual Cox Plate winner Winx to the spelling paddock but has plenty of ammunition for the four-day Flemington carnival.
He is set to have multiple runners on Saturday with at least three in the Cantala Stakes (1600m) with McCreery and Good Project also likely to take their places while Vanbrugh will wait for the Group One Emirates Stakes (2000m) a week later.
Mackintosh comes to the race as Waller’s leading chance after his last start Epsom Handicap third following his Theo Marks Stakes win.
“I think the big plus with Mackintosh is that he’s only had two races this preparation, so he’s quite a fresh horse coming down to Victoria which I think is a big thing,” Waller said.
“And his form is good. He was narrowly beaten in the Epsom. Joao Moreira rides him (on Saturday), so that’s obviously a plus in itself.”
Waller says McCreery, winner of the Rowley Mile and Kingston Town Stakes this campaign before his sixth in the Epsom, has done a good job this preparation but is also mindful the five-year-old has been up for a while.
“He has purposely been kept fresh for this race, trying to keep some speed in his legs,” Waller said.
Good Project will be aiming for his second Group One win over 1600m after winning the Railway Stakes in Perth last November and heads in after a last-start fourth in the Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
“Good Project has been gradually making progress,” Waller said.
“He comes into the race third-up as well, he’s a Group One winner over a mile so I think there’s a little bit of upside there.”