Track specialist It Is Written is set to take on weight for age star Dissident in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
It Is Written has won six and has been placed on five occasions from seventeen starts on the tight Moonee Valley circuit including a last start victory in the $80,000 National Collision Centre Handicap over this course and distance on December 12.
While Griffiths has conceded that the Peter Moody trained Dissident is almost unbeatable, he feels that the six year old’s best chance is his ability to get around the tricky track.
“Realistically he can’t beat Dissident. He’s a faster horse, he’s a three-time Group One winner and he’s just better than us,” Griffiths told AAP.
“And at weight-for-age the best horses win because on a handicap scale we’d be getting weight relief off him but at weight-for-age we don’t.
“So certainly weight-for-age is a negative for us.
“But he loves the Valley and he always runs above himself at this venue so we’ll have a crack.”
It Is Written has also recorded three wins at other tracks with wins at Werribee, Seymour and a stakes win in the Listed $120,000 Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield during the 2013 Melbourne Spring Carnival but keeps his best for Moonee Valley.
“He’s a far better horse at Moonee Valley than any other metropolitan track so we try to keep him there,” Griffiths said.
“He’s OK at Caulfield and is a stakes winner there but he’s far better at Moonee Valley so when a race comes up there, even if it is a bit too strong for him which this appears to be on paper, he can run above himself at that venue.”
It Is Written will be having his second attempt to win the Australia Stakes after running third behind Richie’s Vibe and multiple Group 1 winner Moment Of Change last year.
The Paul Beshara trained Richie’s Vibe was set to defend his Australia Stakes title but had to be withdrawn after developing pool colic on Thursday morning.
“He just got a bit of pool colic and had to have a bit of treatment,” Beshara said.
It Is Written has been marked as an $8 chance in the Australia Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au while Dissident is the odds on favourite at $1.80.
Three year old colt Tudor is the second pick in the market order at $5.50 with Hard Stride at $6, Smokin’ Joey at $17, Blackie at $41 and Audino at $61.