On the morning of the race punters have flocked to Heart Of Dreams in the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast and according to his trainer that’s no surprise.
Mick Price says he can’t fault his horse in the slightest and the weight-for-age conditions only serve to further advantage his dual Group 1 winner.
There’s no doubt the ten horse field assembled for the Group 2 feature event is very strong though, in fact the Group 1 record of Heart Of Dreams isn’t overly special.
Scenic Shot, Triple Honour, Shoot Out and most recently My Kingdom Of Fife have all tasted success on the top shelf of Australian racing.
Price isn’t fazed at all by those stats though, he’s confident his horse is the best and only has one genuine challenger.
.”I don’t think Shoot Out is racing as good as he was, Scenic Shot is getting long in the tooth and Triple Honour may also have seen better days,” Price said.
“I doubt Dao Dao will get the distance but I like My Kingdom Of Fife.
“I know he won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes but I really liked his first-up win here.”
It’s a form line few have missed with the English import for Chris Waller winning as a 150 to 1 chance in the Doncaster Prelude before moving on to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes last start for his maiden Group 1 triumph.
Still though, Heart Of Dreams has managed to do it twice, first in the Underwood Stakes and then again in the Australian Guineas.
His record over the 1800m trumps his rivals as well having won twice from four attempts, his last was at Group 2 level as well at Caulfield in the St George Stakes last February.
“He’s going great and I think he’s got a great chance,” Price said.
“I think he’s in the same form as when he ran in the Orr Stakes in the autumn.”
In that race Heart Of Dream finished runner up behind 2010 racehorse of the year Typhoon Tracy. From there he went on to the Australian Cup.
“He ran fourth in the Australian Cup but he got too far back,” Price said.
“It’s a good race but I think weight-for-age will sort out the men from the boys.”
His last run was in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick over 1400m. He was third in that event behind a dominant Hay List which put multiple lengths on the field.
Shoot Out was in that race as well, finishing two spots further back in fifth.
While Price has written him off John Wallace has plenty of faith in his Australian Derby winner despite two less than ideal runs this preparation.
“Corey Brown is very happy with him. We’d never have beaten Hay List on the heavy track last time but Corey felt he would have run second if it was dry,” Wallace said.
“He’s a different horse now to the spring. I had to work him off a pony then but we don’t do that now.”