Dissident was one of the standout performers of the 2014 Spring Carnival and is reportedly in typically scintillating form ahead of his racing return in Saturday’s featured Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Finishing outside the top three only a handful of times over his seventeen race career so far, Dissident’s impressive spring preparation was cut short after being dealt a mandatory three month ban for bleeding during the running of the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 11th.
Having partnered the four-year-old in each of his four spring starts and recent track work, Ben Melham told TVN he is confident Dissident will be particularly difficult to beat in the Australia Stakes first-up, owing to both his class and revitalized body.
“I’m really happy with the way he’s come back, he’s had a couple of soft trials,” Melham said.
“He’s never been a great track worker, but put the blinkers on race day and he’s a different horse.
“He can jump out and show enough dash. He’s a good horse, a top class horse and I’m expecting that to take him a long way.
“I’m happy to ride him as close as he wants to be.”
Placing a close second to Zoustar in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) most notably in 2013, Dissident returned to racing in 2014 in exceptional form; running second to El Roca in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) first-up before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) and breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th.
Returning to the paddock following runs for sixth in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and a disappointing 12th in the Doncaster Mile, the Sebring entire stamped his claims as the horse of the spring up returning to competition when comfortably taking out each of the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) first-up.
Placing an agonizingly-close second to Trust In A Gust in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in what was his only other start prior to the Caulfield Stakes, Dissident will leave from barrier 7 in the Australia Stakes and will carry 58.5kgs.
A proven performer over the distance, Dissident is currently available at a quote of $2 for success with Ladbrokes Australia.