Smart three year old Nordic Empire is on trial for a start in the Group 1 $400,000 Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 27 when he steps out at Flemington on Saturday.
Nordic Empire is one of the top fancies in the Listed $120,000 ATA/Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m) at Flemington and a win or a very good performance will give Price ammunition to step the colt up to Group 1 company during the Autumn Carnival.
“He is an entire and I want to give him his chance in the better races,” Price told racing.com.
“It’s a little bit of a concern whether he still has enough dash in him second-up to be running a very slick 1000m.
“If he happens to win or finish off strongly I’m keen to give him his chance in the William Reid.”
Nordic Empire is stepping up sharply in class after winning a 955m BenchMark 84 at Moonee Valley first up on February 20.
That was the Wilander three year old’s third win from seven starts and he be will facing a strong field of tough open class sprinters on the weekend.
Nordic Empire had previously won at Caulfield as a two year old and at Moonee Valley as an early three year before Price tested him at Group level which resulted in a fourth in the Group 3 $150,000 K S Environmental Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield followed by a second to Chivalry in the Group 3 $150,000 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Early betting for the Bob Hoysted Handicap has seen Nordic Empire firm into $4.40 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of last start restricted winner Chole In Paris at $4.60, topweight Flamberge at $5 and Peron at $7.50.
The Peter Moody trained Flamberge has been asked to carry 60kg following his first up second to Chautauqua in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14.
The five year old is also a winner at Group 3 level with victories in the $150,000 Sebring Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival and then at his next start in the Spring won the 135,000 The Heath (1100m) at Caulfield.
Moody will also saddle up Peron who will race without the blinkers at her first start for the leading Caulfield stable.
Peron has been placed at Group 2 and Group 3 level but hasn’t been to the races since finishing thirteenth in the 2014 Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm during the Winter Carnival.
Chole In Paris is a sprinter on the rise and resumed from a long spell to win her maiden race over 1000m by four and three quarter lengths at Moonee Valley on February 15 followed by a one length win against the fillies and mares in a BenchMark 90 over the same course and distance as the Bob Hoysted Handicap.