Trainer Paul Messara will step his smart three year old Panzer Division up to weight to age company and take on the older horses in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Panzer Division has only been beaten once from three race starts by stablemate Scissor Kick who was an unlucky second to Hallowed Crown in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
The Redoute’s Choice colt was denied a win by the smallest possible margin when Scissor Kick got the judge’s nod in the Group 3 $125,000 Synergy FX Up and Coming Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on August 23 and then went on to beat subsequent Golden Rose Stakes third placgetter Shooting To Win in the Group 3 $125,000 Ming Dynasty Quality Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on September 6.
Panzer Division will only have to carry 50.5kgs in the George Main Stakes under the weight for age scale and Messara thinks that it is a good opportunity to test him at Group 1 level.
“Panzer Division will have 50.5kg, I know he’ll be better on top of the ground, he’ll be better for the run, and he’s got a lot of things in his favour,” Messara told The Daily Telegraph.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, or he’s a good thing, but I think he’s worth a chance.’’
Messara has also set Brenton Avdulla a huge task to get down to the light weight.
Avdulla has set himself a tough program to loose up to five kilos this week but knows that the results will be worthwhile.
“I haven’t been this light since I was 16. I was 18 when I came to Sydney to work with Gai (Waterhouse), and the lightest I rode then was 51kg,” Avdulla said.
“I thought this year the George Main could be won by a three-year-old because I don’t think the older horses are weight-for-age class.
“Panzer Division is racing well, he’s in form, and while he’s probably another preparation away, Paul has got him going well and has a big opinion of him.’’
Panzer Division is only one of twelve nominated for the George Main Stakes forcing the Australian Turf Club to extend the entry deadline until 11am on Tuesday.
Five of the twelve entries are from the Chris Waller stable and are the same five that finished first to fifth in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 6 – Hawkspur, Royal Descent, Bagman, Sacred Falls and Moriarty.
Kris Lees has nominated last start Group 2 Tramway Stakes winner Lucia Valentina who will clash again with the Team Hawkes trained Toydini and Kiwi mare Rising Romance who finished third and fourth and Gypsy Diamond who was a well beaten tenth in the Tramway Stakes.
Gold Coast trainer Bruce Hill will venture back to Sydney with Teronado, who is one of the George Main Stakes early nominations, after the smart four year old scored an easy win in a Class 6 over 1640m at Doomben on September 6.
Teronado raced during the Sydney Autumn Carnival and showed then that he wasn’t far off the best with a fourth to Dissident in the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick and a third to Criterion in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB.com.au Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill.
2012 Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk from the Joe Pride stable is also among the nominations.
In early betting for the George Main Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au Royal Descent is the favourite at $5 over stablemate Hawkspur at $5.50 just ahead of Lucia Valentina at $6.50, Sacred Falls at $7, Panzer Division at $7.50, Rising Romance and Toydini at $9, Teronado at $10, Moriarty at $13, Bagman and Gypsy Diamond at $21 and Laser Hawk at $67.