Caulfield trainer Mick Price’s sole chance of a Group win at Randwick on the final autumn carnival meet this Saturday lies in his Show A Heart gelding Heart Of Dreams who needs to show improvement from their last outing.
Five-year-old Heart Of Dreams will come up against a star-studded field of weight-for-age runners in the $400,000 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on Sydney Cup Day.
A dual Group 1 winner back in 2009 having won the Australian Guineas at Flemington in March and then beating Whobegotyou in the Underwood Stakes that spring, Heart Of Dreams didn’t enter the winners circle again until his third run this prep.
This year Heart Of Dreams resumed with a first up seventh in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in January before his game second, defeated by the narrowest of margins by the now-retired Typhoon Tracy in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 12.
Heart Of Dreams then claimed victory in the Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m) carting 59kg to a smart two and a half length win over Precedence on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
Last start Heart Of Dreams was beaten four and a half lengths when eighth to previous Melbourne Cup winner Shocking in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington March 12.
Having had a refresh since then, Price is confident Heart Of Dreams is fit and ready for the All Aged Stakes.
“He’s worked the reverse way here (at Caulfield) a couple times and he won the Phar Lap as a three-year-old at Rosehill that way (the Sydney) way of going, so that’s not going to be a problem,” Price said.
“And those weight-for-age races, they’re very grindy sort of races and not every horse handles it, but he’s one that will handle it.
“If they’re getting a big soft on the line, he’ll be picking them up.
“I’m sure he’ll be thereabouts.”
Markets for the All Aged Stakes are lead by boom galloper Hay List ($2.10) who comes off a career best run when second to Black Caviar in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.
Heart Of Dreams is rated a $15 outsider with other horses in the market including classy mare Melito ($5.50) resuming after her second to More Joyous in the Queen of the Turf on Golden Slipper Day and comeback galloper Rangirangdoo ($7) who took out the George Ryder Stakes last start.
Due to be ridden by Damien Oliver, Heart Of Dreams has the inside running from barrier one on Saturday.
“He’ll need a man up (with him) in the gates because he’s drawn one and he’s going to be sitting in there for a while, but he can be a bit awkward out and if that’s the case he’s going to be fifth or sixth back the fence and he’s going to have to have things happen the right way,” Price said.
“But he’s fresh, he travelled up there last night (Wednesday) and I spoke to my man this morning and he said he’s jumping out of his skin up there.”
Heart Of Dreams is one of three Victorian raiders looking to steal this year’s All Aged trophy away from the Sydneysiders along with Eagle Falls and Hinchinbrook.
The David Hayes-trained Eagle Falls ($34 chance) won the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in February and is out to become just the third horse in history along with Kilshery (1963) and Tontonan (1974) to take out the Oakleigh Plate – All Aged Stakes double.
Peter Moody’s Fastnet Rock colt Hinchinbrook ($21 chance) gets his first chance to shine stepping out of the shadow of his star stablemate Black Caviar who has defeated him in his last three starts.
The 2011 Daily Telegraph All Aged Stakes is one of four Group 1 showdowns at Randwick on Easter Saturday.