Preferment seems to have lost his zest for racing and will need a miracle to finish in the top three.
Stratum Star and He’s Our Rokkii are queries on the Heavy track – although I do like the way He’s Our Rokkii is building this campaign.
That leaves Hartnell, Our Ivanhowe and The United States.
The Freedman camp are becoming very good at producing stayers first-up now, and by all reports, Our Ivanhowe has always been looking for a wet track – the question is, will a Heavy 9 or 10 be too wet?
Blinkers come off and I’d prefer to see him in action this campaign before launching into him.
The United States hasn’t raced on anything worse than a Soft 5 in Australia but he did win on a Heavy track on debut in Ireland.
He won the Ranvet last year after tackling the Futurity Stakes (1400m) and Blamey Stakes (1600m), but Team Williams and trainer Robert Hickmott have plotted a different course for his this time.
He resumed in the Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and was only half a length from Stratum Star at the finish.
He then went to the Australian Cup (2000m) and made his midfield move with the eventual winner Humidor, but fitness gave out over the concluding stages and he weakened to finish 2.3 lengths 5th.
I think that run would have topped him off perfectly for Saturday’s assignment and he’s the clear danger to Hartnell if he’s at the top of his game.
The United States won’t go around on a Heavy 9 or 10 if the stable think he won’t handle it, so if he lines up on Saturday, that’s where my money will be going.
I can forgive Hartnell’s poor run last start but I can’t forgive it while taking $1.95.