Jockey James McDonald expects his mount Invincible Star to zoom in on The Everest favourite Redzel when they clash again in the 2018 Group 2 $200,000 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The lightly raced Invincible Star resumed from a long layoff for a first up third, with McDonald in the saddle, behind Redzel and Kaepernick in the Group 3 $160,000 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 1 and McDonald expects a lot of improvement to come out of the run.
“It was a good run after a big layoff, she was very big in the yard and will take good benefit,’’ McDonald told Racing New South Wales News Desk.
“She went head to head with Redzel and just blew out the last furlong.
“This run is D-Day to see where she’s up to and she should be winning it.’’
Co-trainer Adrian Bott, who trains in partnership with Gai Waterhouse, agrees with McDonald that Invincible Star is ready to show a marked improvement in The Shorts as she gets geared up for the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13.
“By no means were we disappointed with the first-up run,’’ Bott said.
“The figures Redzel returned were stronger than last year so for us to have that long off the scene and finish a length off last year’s winner we are happy with where we are at.’’
“With nine months off the scene she needed a run like that to bring her on. She has worked well since and she has tightened up a bit for that.’’
Bott and Waterhouse have also nominated their other Everest candidate English for The Shorts.
English ran sixth to Redzel in the inaugural running of The Everest last year and will be having her first run since a Brisbane Winter Campaign that saw her win the Group 1 $700,000 Kirin Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at Doomben before finishing fourth to Impending in the Group 1 $700,000 Altus Traffic Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) at Doomben on May 26.
“The 1100m with a tempo set by the likes of Invincible Star and Redzel might get her out of her comfort zone slightly,’’ Bott said.
“Her trial was good the other day and she still has more improvement to come. Now she is getting older the tempo of a 1200m race will be more to her liking.
“There’s still a long way to go but we’re happy with where we are at with both of them.’’
The Darren Weir trained Brave Smash is also locked into a slot for The Everest and is also nominated for The Shorts as well as the Group 2 $200,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The Team Snowden trained Redzel is the $1.90 favourite to score back to back wins in the The Shorts at Ladbrokes.com.au and is also the top pick in The Everest at $4.50.
Early betting for The Shorts at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.90 Redzel, $5 English, Invincible Star, $7 Brave Smash, $8 Ball Of Muscle, $21 Music Magnate, $41 Boss Lane, The Monstar, $81 Big Money, $101 After All That, Unique Lovely.