Lightly raced four year old Spieth will be facing his toughest test to date when he steps up to Group 1 company for the first time in the $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Spieth is the winner of five of his eight starts, the last four on the trot and Warwick Farm trainer Bryce Heys has given the four year old one Spring Carnival run in the lead up to the Darley Classic for a win in the Listed $150,000 City Tattersalls Lightning (1100m) at Randwick on October 15.
Heys has been keen for Spieth to take on the top class sprinters but knows he is facing a tough task up against several Group 1 winners including Lankan Rupee, Turn Me Loose, The Quarterback, Japonisme and Malaguerra.
“It’s been a long range plan that we were going to have to run against the big grey horse (Chautauqua) but even with him not there we know how hard it’s going to be.” Heys told AAP.
Heys has let Spieth work his way up through the classes and knows now that he is ready to take the next step after proving himself in the lower grades.
“The racing and the winning has helped his confidence in terms of maturity,” Heys said.
“But I was never getting ahead of myself.
“Not at one stage did I think ‘I can’t wait to get down and run in that Darley Classic’ but that was definitely my long-range plan if he could do what he’s been doing.
“I was just worried about putting him in the right races and doing the right thing by the horse.”
Spieth is well in contention in the market order for the Darley Classic with Ladbrokes.com.au marking him at $8.50 in a very wide open betting race.
Both Fell Swoop and Our Boy Malachi are yet to salute at Group 1 level but are sharing favouritism for the Darley Classic at $6 just ahead of Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback at $6.50, multiple Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee at $7 and BTC winner Malaguerra at $8.
Brad Rawiller will be having his first ride on Spieth who has drawn barrier six in the twelve horse Darley Classic field.