Leading trainers Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse and Peter Moody have all included runners in the field for the 2014 Rough Habit Plate that will be held at Doomben on Saturday.
Waller won the 2013 edition of the Rough Habit Plate with Hawkspur and he will be chasing his second win in the key lead-up race to the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) with Vilanova.
Vilanova (barrier two) stamped himself as a horse to watch with three impressive performances during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, highlighted by a second place finish in the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 25 last year, but was unable to replicate that form during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Commands gelding made a slow start to his autumn campaign, but broke through for his maiden win at Group level in the Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22 before finishing sixth in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley on March 14, fifth in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 and third in the Dunkirk Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm on April 25.
Waterhouse-trained Pheidon (barrier one) defeated Vilanova to win the Alister Clark Stakes, but was slightly disappointing in the Tulloch Stakes before returning to a semblance of his best form when second behind Arabian Gold in the Group 3 Frank Packer Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 26.
Peter Moody is another trainer that has had past success in the Rough Habit Plate, winning the race with Brambles in 2012, and the leading Melbourne trainer will have both Cadillac Mountain and Saguaro in the Group 3 event on Saturday.
Cadillac Mountain finished second behind Pheidon in the Alister Clark Stakes and was far from disgraced behind Criterion in both the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29 and the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, while Saguaro will need to improve on his seventh place finish in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600n) at Eagle Farm on April 26 to be a winning chance in the Rough Habit Plate on Saturday.
The New Zealand-trained duo of Glorious Lad (barrier six) and Telepathic (barrier seven) will make their Australian racing debuts in the Rough Habit Plate, while Rudy (barrier nine), Bodega Negra (barrier eight), Casarati (barrier five), Amexed (barrier three), Arki (barrier 13) and Rock Scent (barrier) are the locally-trained hopes in the race.