Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding Pitcrew will defend his undefeated record against a strong field in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Pitcrew debuted with a comfortable victory at Canterbury in June before recording an impressive win in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill in July followed by a narrow triumph a fortnight later at Warwick Farm in the Congrats Chris Waller Handicap (1400m).
Waterhouse has high hopes that the son of Sebring can progress to Group 1 level during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and included him in her nominations for both the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Pitcrew is set to face stiff competition from a number of impressive colts including Darley-owned Champollion who had an inconsistent juvenile campaign that was highlighted by a narrow victory in the Group 3 The Schweppervescence (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens in April.
Champollion impressed with a second place finish behind Diamond Oasis in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm last Friday but trainer Peter Snowden told Radio Sports National that he is not too confident about the son of Exceed And Excel’s chances first-up and is looking ahead to the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 12.
“He is still a bit big at the moment,” Snowden said on RSN.
“He had a nice trial on Friday and came through that ok but there is no doubt that he will get better as the racing gets further.
“The race we have in mind for him is the Spring Champion but we will keep putting our tail in the water and see how we go over the next four weeks.”
Also set to resume in the Up and Coming Stakes on Saturday is Chris Waller-trained colt Vilanova who raced well without breaking through for a victory during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
The former New Zealand-trained three-year-old finished second in both the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) and Group 2 BRC Sires Produce (1350m) before finishing fourth behind Romantic Touch in his Group 1 debut in the J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
The 2012 edition of the Up And Coming Stakes was won by Albrecht who went on to finish second behind Epaulette in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m).