Contributer remains on top of Emirates Stakes 2014 betting markets and Godolphin racing manager Jason Walsh is not worried by the fact that the imported galloper will be dropping back to a mile for the Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow.
Contributer made his Australian racing debut in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 18 and he ran away from the rest of the field in the final stages of the race to record an impressive first-up victory.
The Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day was touted as the next race start for Contributer, but the stable elected to change their plans and Walsh told Racing Ahead that he believes the 2014 Emirates Stakes is the right race for the High Chaparral entire at this stage of his Australian racing career.
“Obviously we are still learning about the horse and he has only been in the country for five weeks,” Walsh said.
“We were very mindful that second run off the plane the last thing that we wanted to do was get to the bottom of him at this stage because he has been purchased to be around in the Cup features next year.
“We just felt that the mile was going to suit a bit better on that basis and it also gave us three weeks between runs.
“He has done particularly well and the determining factor was that James McDonald was adamant after his David Jones Cup win that he gave him the feel of a really top miler.
“All of his racing at good grade has been at a mile and a quarter or beyond, but James gave us a bit of confidence that he would be more than competitive in the run.”
James McDonald was able to settle Contributer in a lovely midfield position in the early stages of the David Jones Cup, but Walsh admits that the stable is slightly concerned about where the four-year-old will get to in the early stages of the 2014 Emirates Stakes.
The Cleaner is set to make sure that the Emirates Stakes is run at a quick early tempo and Walsh is hopeful that Contributer will be able to settle into a position just behind the leaders in the Group 1 event.
“He has drawn inside a bit and it is a tricky draw depending on how much speed there is,” Walsh said.
“We will be looking to get him into running room where we can and I expect him to be midfield or thereabouts.
“We certainly wouldn’t want to be going back to last and we don’t want to make use of him early either.”
Contributer ($5) remains a clear favourite in 2014 Emirates Stakes betting markets from Lucky Hussler ($7), Hooked ($7), Bull Point ($7.50) and Leebaz ($9).