The prospect of a drier track and the step up to 1200m might give Viridine the edge on his rivals in the Group 3 $128,000 The Big Screen Company Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Trainer James Cummings definitely thinks the step up to the 1200m this week will favour Viridine after he failed to run down noted mudlark on a heavy track when second in the Group 3 $128,000 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago.
The Caulfield track on Friday was rated a soft 5 and with no more rain forecast for Saturday, the surface will be much drier than in the Sir John Monash Stakes.
“We’re looking forward to taking on Jungle Edge again over a bit more ground and on a track that hopefully won’t be as heavy as it was two weeks ago,” Cummings said.
“On a heavy track Jungle Edge is a Group One horse. He’s shown that with placings in an All-Aged Stakes on heavy ground.”
“But we’re not going into this race thinking we can’t turn around the result from the Monash.”
“Neither have we lost sight of the fact that there are some other very capable horses lined up against us.”
“Viridine has continued to train well at Flemington and according to reports he looks great and will go to Caulfield on Saturday in very good order.”
Viridne has won on rain affected tracks in the past but has five of his seven wins on top of the ground while all of Jungle Edge’s nineteen wins have been on soft and heavy rated tracks.
Viridine has drawn barrier four in the nine horse Bletchingly Stakes field with Damien Oliver retaining the mount while the Mick Bell trained Jungle Edge will jump from the outside gate for Jade Darose.
Group 1 winner Streets Of Avalon is resuming with the blinkers back on and while he hasn’t won first up in the past, his class can’t underestimated.
Streets Of Avalon joined the Group 1 winner’s club with his victory in the $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2019 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
The Shane Nichols trained Streets Of Avalon had one more Autumn Carnival run for a twelfth in the $5 All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield before being sent out for a spell.
Viridine is the solid $2.90 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Bletchingly Stakes ahead of Jungle Edge at $6 and the Patrick Payne trained Widgee Turf at $6.50 while Streets Of Avalon has firmed in from $10 to hovering around the $8 mark.