Trainer Paul Messara will choose the easier option and start eight year old Mic Mac in the Group 3 $150,000 Panthers Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) at Hawkesbury on Thursday.
Messara had also nominated Mic Mac for the Group 2 $175,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday but with ten Group 1 winners in the early nominations, the Hawkesbury Gold Cup looked like the better option.
“The 1400m of the Warwick Stakes probably suits him better but that race has a lot of depth to it. The Hawkesbury Cup does look a bit weaker and seems a nice race for Mic Mac,” Messara told The Daily Telegraph.
Mic Mac has only had two tries at the 1600m for a fifth to Metal Bender in the 2009 Group 1 $500,000 Royal Randwick Guineas and a second to Whobegotyou in the 2009 Group 2 $500,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley.
His record at 1400m is much better with two wins, a second and a third from five attempts, his latest when second to Under The Sun in the Listed $100,000 Inghams Love’em Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on July 20.
But Mic Mac is certain to be sent out one of the favourites after a gallant second to speedster Rain Affair in the Group 3 $125,000 McGrath Real Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 10.
Christian Reith will again be on board after riding the Statue Of Liberty gelding at his last three starts which included a win three runs back in the Listed $100,000 Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill on July 6.
Mic Mac has come up with barrier nine in the ten horse field but Reith will be able to use his early speed to take up a forward position.
Gai Waterhouse will saddle up two runners, Julienas to be ridden by Nash Rawiller from gate three and Kinnersley with Tommy Berry form gate four.
Seven year old import Julienas scored twice at Listed level in the Autumn but struggled when Waterhouse stepped him up to Group level and failed to beat a runner home when tenth to Mourayan in the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 27.
Julienas has barrier trialled twice for his return with a win over 1200m at Warwick Farm followed by a fourth over 1400m at Randwick.
While Kinnersley is coming off a third to Coup At Tee in the Listed $100,000 Winter Challenge (1500m) at Rosehill on August 3.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller’s only runner Coup Ay Tee has had another run since beating Kinnersley and is backing up after finishing fifth to Honorius over 1400m at Rosehill last Saturday with Jason Collet to take the ride.