Ranvet Stakes winner Avilius is set to put his unbeaten Sydney run on the line when he backs up into the 2019 Group 1 $1.5m KIA Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Godolphin European import claimed his fourth win from four race starts on Sydney tracks with a soft win in last Saturday’s Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and trainer James Cummings is set to back up the five year old this weekend.
Avilius won his first four starts on Australian soil during the 2018 Spring Carnival, his first three on Sydney tracks in a 1600m BenchMark 91 Handicap at Randwick, followed but a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Premier’s Cup (1900m) at Rosehill before heading back to Randwick for a win in the Group 3 $160,000 The Agency Real Estate Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).
The five year old gelding then went to Melbourne to win the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington and gained a free ticket into the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
Avilius disappointed two starts back as the odds on favourite when fifth to Harlem in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 9 but then redeemed himself with his dominant win in the weight for age Ranvet Stakes.
Cummings was glad to see Avilius back in the winner’s stall and expects him to be hard to beat again over the 2400m of the Tancred Stakes.
“Avilius demonstrated he was back at full fitness with what was his most convincing win yet in the Ranvet,” Cummings said.
“He has an unbeaten Sydney record and the best weight-for-age credentials of any runner. He looks to be perfectly placed for the quick back-up.”
Avilius looks likely to jump from barrier six in the thirteen horse Tancred Stakes field and the $1.60 favourite has a change of rider with James McDonald taking over from Ranvet Stakes winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
McEvoy will stick with the Kris Lees trained import Red Cardinal who he rode to victory last start in the Group 3 $350,000 Schweppes Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago.
Red Cardinal is on the second line of betting at $6 at Ladbrokes.com.au and drew barrier twelve in the original draw of thirteen plus three emergencies but will jump from gate eleven if there are no more scratching.