Caulfield trainer Mick Price could have a possible three runners in the Group 3 $150,000 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Saturday will see the reappearance of Price’s smart colts Jabali and Cornrow as well as last start Moonee Valley winner Nordic Empire with all three among the twenty nominations for the Vain Stakes.
Even though Jabali and Cornrow are yet to visit the winner’s circle, both were Group 1 placed during the Autumn Carnival and are set to race against Group 1 company during the Spring Carnival.
Jabali and Cornrow finished second and third behind Earthquake in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22.
Cornrow then went on to run third to Peggy Jean in the Group 1 $1m Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 12.
Both colts are resuming and after they run in the Vain Stakes on Saturday will have one more run in Melbourne in the Group 3 $150,000 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 30 before heading to Sydney for the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 13.
After the Golden Rose Stakes Price will then decide if he will step them up in distance again and take on the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11 or freshen one or both of them up for the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1.
Nordic Empire is also nominated for the Caulfield Guineas and Price is keen to see how the Wilander colt handles the class rise after his win in restricted company over 1000m at Moonee Valley on August 2.
“At this stage I’ve got the feeling he’s strictly a sprinter,” Price said.
While Nordic Empire has the benefit of race fitness on his side, Price expects all three to run well on Saturday even though Cornrow was forced to miss a trial last week because of a cold.
“He’s (Cornrow) the grosser of my three and he’ll probably need the run, although he worked well on Saturday morning,” Price told the Herald Sun after the Duporth colt galloped on Saturday with race day jockey Chad Schofield.
Damien Oliver rode Jabali when second in the Blue Diamond Stakes and will be back on the Exceed And Excel colt with Price removing the blinkers and replacing them with a set of winkers.
“He’ll be keen and I think he will run very well,” Price said about Jabali.
In early Caulfield Guineas betting Cornrow is marked as a $35 chance while Jabali is at the juicy odds of $151.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Almalad heads the market order at $8 just ahead of Chris Waller’s Brazen Beau.
While in Golden Rose Stakes markets, Jabali and Cornrow are both marked as $21 chances.