Some of the nation’s most promising sprinters will be on trial for a berth in Saturday week’s $1 million Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) when they step out at Flemington this weekend.
Howmuchdoyouloveme, who many believe is an emerging star, faces the biggest test of his career in the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) while three-year-old filly Snitzerland will look to take her winning streak to five in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
Both have signalled potential that they could one day compete in the country’s biggest sprints but whether that comes in the Patinack will depend on how they perform this weekend.
Snitzerland has been one of the standouts of the spring so far with wins in the San Domenico Stakes, Danehill Stakes, Champagne Stakes and the Blue Sapphire and a further victory combined with a good recovery is likely to see her line up in weight-for-age company in the Patinack.
Despite an outstanding resume of six wins from nine starts and a prize pool in excess of $1.3 million, the small but electric filly will be having just her second start at Group 1 level this weekend after finishing second to Pierro in the Golden Slipper in April.
Howmuchdoyouloveme will be having just his second start of the spring after a blistering opener where he led from start to finish to claim the Caulfield Sprint (1100m) by two lengths.
Trainer Con Karakatsanis told horseracing.com.au yesterday that the four-year-old has made natural improvement since the first-up test and that was evident during a jump-out at Flemington yesterday where he sprinted 800 metres in 45.35 seconds.
“Whether he would run well down the straight was always a concern but he was perfect,” Karakatsanis said.
“I still don’t know how good he is but hopefully we’ve got a superstar on our hands.”
Bought for just $5,000 as a yearling, the big, robust front-runner has had just six starts to date, winning five times and collecting more than $300,000 in prizemoney.
Some of the other top hopes contesting the Yellowglen Stakes that are also nominated for the Patinack are lightly-raced gelding Pampelonne and Joe Pride-trained gelding Tiger Tees.