Luke Price admits that Vanbrugh will be difficult to beat in the 2015 Spring Champion Stakes, but he remains hopeful that his rising galloper Man Of Choice can turn-the-tables on his rival in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Man Of Choice worked his way through the grades during his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign and he recorded a dominant win at Kembla Grange on September 12 before he finished a more than credible third behind Vanbrugh in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 26.
Vanbrugh was far too good for Man Of Choice in the Spring Champion Stakes, but Vanbrugh had the jump on the Manhattan Rain gelding and Price believes that Man Of Choice will be a better chance if he can get moving further from home in the Spring Champion Stakes.
“He has trained on well; he hasn’t missed much speed and his work is pretty good,” Price said.
“He has to improve to beat the favourite tomorrow, but I am confident he will run the 2000 metres out on a big Randwick track.
“He was very impressive the horse the other day, but we are a big horse and it would be nice to be rolling into the race at the 600.
“Hughie did have us pretty tight from the 1200 the other day and he had us inside him the whole way, so it would be nice to be able to roll into the race under his own steam.”
Man Of Choice has shown a degree of tactical versatility during his racing career to date and Price admits that he is unsure how the race will pan out for the three-year-old when he jumps from the inside barrier in the Spring Champion Stakes, but he is happy to leave the tactics up to jockey Sam Clipperton.
“There isn’t much speed in the race tomorrow and it will be interesting to see how it pans out,” Price said.
“I haven’t had the chance to speak to Sam yet, but I’m sure he would have had this race go through his head a dozen times now and I can see us being a bit closer in the run tomorrow.
“You just never know how it is going to pan out until it is actually happening.”
Man Of Choice is currently available at 2015 Spring Champion Stakes odds of $9.50 with Ladbrokes and he is on the fourth line of betting behind Vanbrugh ($2), Too Good To Refuse ($4.60) and Tatoosh ($9).