Hero I Am will make his Australian racing debut in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday and trainer Chris Waller admits that the colt may struggle against the number of talented colts that are set to contest the $100,000 event.
Hero I Am made his racing debut in New Zealand under the care of Peter McKay with a sixth place finish in the Listed Matamata Slipper (1200m) on February 22 before scoring his maiden race win in the Rexot Sports Bar Maiden (1200m) at the same venue on March 12.
The Hussonet colt was given an opportunity at Group 1 level in The Oaks Stud Sires Produce (1400m) at Awapuni on March 29 and he was given every possible chance by jockey Craig Grylls before tiring in the final stages of the race to finish seventh.
Hero I Am has had one barrier trial since joining the Waller stable, finishing fourth behind Occitan over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens on July 21 and Waller believes that the three-year-old will need a couple more race starts in Australia before he is able to perform at his best.
“He is a new addition to the stable,” Waller said.
“It would have been nice to run him in a midweek, but there were no suitable races and we were forced to run here.
“It is a handicap, which I guess brings him into the race to some degree, but normally the New Zealand horses will take a run or two to adapt to our racing style and the quality of our racing.
“I would just be a little bit wary about him, but I think that he will be a nice horse in time.”
Hero I Am is rated one of the outsiders in The Rosebud betting market at Ladbrokes Australia, but there has been a sprinkling of support for the Kiwi colt and he is into a quote of $31 after being available at $41 when betting opened.
There is plenty of hype around Godolphin colt Sarajevo ($2.70) and he remains a clear favourite to take out The Rosebud, while Gai Waterhouse-trained Nayeli ($3.10) will be returning to the races for the first time since she finished towards the tail of the field in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield earlier this year.