Rain in Sydney looms as an added complication for Awesome Rock’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes mission at Randwick.
Awesome Rock was first past the post in the Group One Australian Cup last month only to lose the race on protest to Preferment.
The Chris Waller-trained Preferment is again a rival in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) but it’s his stablemate Winx who is the most formidable of opponents should she back up in the $4 million race after her Doncaster Mile win on Saturday.
Awesome Rock travelled from Melbourne to Sydney on Sunday night to prepare for the race and had a trot and canter at Randwick on Monday morning.
“He’s settled in beautifully,” co-trainer Troy Corstens said.
Corstens, who is in partnership with his father Leon, believes Awesome Rock is ready to run another big race if he handles the conditions with the trainer saying he will be surprised if the track is better than soft by Saturday.
“He loves a dry track, so that would have been ideal. But unfortunately there’s nothing you can do about the weather,” Corstens said.
Connections bypassed the Easter Cup at Caulfield last Saturday week with Awesome Rock, preferring to wait to give the horse his chance in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with four weeks between runs.
“He didn’t need a hard hit-out and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do on Saturday,” Corstens said.
“He hasn’t put one foot wrong (since the Australian Cup). He’s an extremely sound horse and maintains his fitness very easily.”
Winx was an easing favourite on Monday before stewards ordered bookmakers to suspend betting amid uncertainty over whether she would run.
Stewards said betting would begin again after acceptances were taken on Tuesday morning when refunds came into play with the declaration of the final field.
Earlier in the day, Waller said the earliest a decision would be made was after Winx worked on Tuesday morning but even if she was in the acceptances, she would still be monitored for the rest of the week.
“We will do what’s in her best interests,” Waller said.
“It is all about her.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au