Jockey Kerrin McEvoy will be looking for some early luck on El Sicario after the Kiwi youngster drew a wide barrier in the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
El Sicario came up with barrier nine in the eleven horse Champagne Stakes field and McEvoy will be trying desperately to slot into a trailing position in the early part of the race.
“From barrier nine we’ll try and get some cover somewhere in the run and give him the chance to show us his acceleration,” McEvoy told The Daily Telegraph.
El Sicario has filled the runner’s up stall at both his runs to date and after running second in a Matamata 1200m two year old Maiden on March 16, the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained gelding finished second in the Group 1 NZ$250,000 Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on April 2.
“His last start was a close second in the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes in New Zealand,” McEvoy said.
“They tell me he’s got a very good turn of foot and not many can keep up with him in trackwork.”
The New Zealand Sires’ Produce Stakes was run on a very heavy track and the prospect of another rain affected track at Randwick on the weekend doesn’t concern McEvoy.
“I’m not sure what the track will be come Saturday but it’s definitely been a bit soft recently and he’s proven that he handles the sting out,” McEvoy said.
“If you take out Yankee Rose then it’s a pretty even field and it certainly looks a year for a Kiwi raider to be competitive.”
The Randwick track was rated a soft 5 on Thursday morning with the Bureau Of Meteorology forecasting some showers today ahead of mainly fine weather in the lead up to the weekend.
El Sicario is regarded as one of the outsiders of the field and is listed as a $21 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Inglis Sires’ winner Yankee Rose remains the short priced favourite at $1.45 for the Champagne Stakes even though she is under an injury cloud with bruising to her front feet and will have to undergo a veterinary check before being cleared to run.
Champagne Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.45 Yankee Rose, $8 Prized Icon, $8.50 Obscura, $13 Divine Prophet, $16 Faraway Town, $19 Chimboraa, $21 El Sicario, $41 Crown Him, $51 Jaws Off Steel, $71 Pop, $126 North Sky.