Speediness has been included in the 2014 Sandown Stakes field and is set to contest the Group 3 event at Sandown on Saturday.
Trainer Colin Scott revealed yesterday that Speediness would be included in the acceptances for the Sandown Stakes and he confirmed that the Testa Rossa gelding would contest the race as long as the Sandown track is softened by the rain that is expected to hit Melbourne on Friday and Saturday.
Speediness has not recorded a race win since he took out the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 7 last year, but he has been a consistent performer when he has had conditions to suit and he finished second behind Trust In A Gust in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11.
The veteran gelding will need to be at his very best to return to winning form in the Sandown Stakes after a small, but select field were included in the acceptances for the Group 3 race.
One of the most interesting runners in the Sandown Stakes field is Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet, who will be having just his second race start in Australia.
Pornichet was placed at Group 1 level in France before joining the Waterhouse stable and he made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing and unlucky fourth place finish behind subsequent Emirates Stakes winner Hucklebuck in the Group 3 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on November 1.
The sentimental favourite in the Sandown Stakes will be Quinton Scott-trained Another Prelate, who will be making his debut at Group level as a ten-year-old.
Another Prelate started his spring preparation with a third place finish in the Ramleigh Springs Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on August 16 and took out the Melbourne Signage Concepts Handicap (1500m) at Moonee Valley on September 26 before he finished third behind Bel Thor in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) on October 19.
Red Bomber will also be stepping up to Group level for the first time after he recorded a three lengths victory in the Peninsula Cup (1600m) at Mornington on November 2, while General Groove is also taking winning form into the race after being Spy Decoder in the Lavazza Short Black Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
The 2014 Sandown Stakes field is rounded out by veteran gelding Spacecraft, Glenn Thornton-trained Vibrant Rouge, consistent mare Lady Lakshmi and Geelong-based Refer.