On exposed form there is little doubt Winter King is the best-performed runner in Saturday’s City Jeep Handicap at Moonee Valley.
But the biggest thing he has going for him in the 1000m dash could be the absence of his stablemate Canali.
Trainer Steve Brown had entered both horses but accepted only with Winter King.
“This is a pretty good horse, he’s got speed and class,” Brown said.
“I actually thought he could have won his last run on Oaks day at Flemington.
“He probably would have except Canali got in his way.”
Winter King finished fourth at Flemington behind General Truce, another who was entered at the Valley but who won’t be getting in the way on Saturday.
“They were good horses that finished in front of him last start, so I’m not too worried that he won’t be up to it,” Brown said.
“I actually think he’s a genuine Group horse.”
The Flemington run was Winter King’s first for Brown who took over the horse from David Payne who prepared him for his first 35 starts, most of them in stakes races in Sydney.
From his two-year-old days when he won three in a row, Winter King has raced with the best.
At four he won the Listed Starlight Stakes and was runner-up to Black Caviar in the Group Two Schillaci Stakes.
Winter King’s most recent run was his first in seven months and Brown is confident he has coaxed some improvement from the horse although rain would help with six of his seven wins on tracks rated dead or worse.
“He’ll go there nice and fit, no doubt about that,” he said.
For Brown, who still has stables in Darwin, the win would prove timely.
He expects to take over 29 boxes at his new Flemington base this week.