During the corresponding week 12 years ago, Newcastle trainer Paul Perry was getting fitted for a top hat and tails in preparation for Royal Ascot.
The Perry-trained Choisir dazzled British racegoers, winning the King’s Stand Stakes and backing up four days later to claim the Golden Jubilee, paving the way for Australian sprinters to attack the English carnival in numbers.
While Shamal Wind, Brazen Beau and Wandjina will compete in the short course Group One races in England this week, Perry has his sights on a more modest target at Randwick on Saturday with Wouldnt It Be Nice.
The four-year-old is a son of Choisir who was snapped up by Coolmore Stud after his Royal Ascot performances for what remains an undisclosed price but was reported at the time to be between $20 and $20 million.
Wouldnt It Be Nice is no Choisir but has a Group Three win in the 2014 Concorde Stakes to go with his last-start victory in the Listed June Stakes in which he beat Avoid Lighnting, a leading contender in the Group One Tattersall’s Tiara.
He lines up in Saturday’s Winter Dash (1200m) with Thomas Huet again aboard and with rain forecast in Sydney, he will get conditions to suit.
“He’s not hopeless on firm tracks but he is much better in the wet,” Perry said.
“He has come through the June Stakes really well and I’d expect him to go close again.
“We have considered taking him to Grafton for the Ramornie Handicap next month but it depends whether his form holds up and what the weather is like.”
There were 15 entries taken on Monday for the sprint headed by the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained That’s A Good Idea with a rating of 102, one point higher than his stablemate Dothraki.
The Bjorn Baker-trained Zaratone, third in the June Stakes last Saturday week and second in the Winter Dash a year ago, is also in the mix.
Oakfield Commands, winner of the 2014 Winter Dash, is among the entries along with veteran Decision Time.
Both were well beaten in the June Stakes.