A small but quality field has been named to contest the Group 2 2012 Crystal Mile (1600m) and if the market proves correct it is set to be a closely run contest.
Four horses fall between $3.60 and $4.20 in the market, with Rangirangdoo and Ambidexter equal $3.60 favourites at bookmaker.com.au.
Rangirangdoo is a proven weight-for-age performer coming but will need to bounce back from his Epsom 15th while Ambidexter will be out to continue the form that has seen him win the Theo Marks Sprint and finish second in the Epsom.
Just behind the pair are Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn ($4.00) and promising New Zealand mare Silent Achiever ($4.20).
Solzhenitsyn has already proven he can match it at the top level in Melbourne but faces another test this weekend when competing at weight-for-age level.
Trainer Robert Heathcote is confident the five-year-old can make that transition and maybe next year feature in the Cox Plate.
“He’s not fast but he’s bloody strong,” Heathcote said.
“He’s already won at weight for age up here in Brisbane, and he’s carried 59 and 60 in handicaps up here so weight’s not an issue with him.”
New Zealand Derby winner Silent Achiever will be out to build upon the form shown during her first Australian campaign in the autumn where she finished third in the Rosehill Guineas and sixth in the Australian Derby.
No other horse comes close to the top four in the market with the Leon Corstens-trained Tokugawa ($18.00) who was dominant when winning at Moonee Valley by 3 1/2 lengths last month before running sixth in the Toorak Handicap.
Other horses contesting the Crystal Mile include Bart Cummings’ Illo ($41.00) and David Hayes-trained gelding Spacecraft ($81.00).
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