Caulfield-based trainer Andrew Noblet returns to his home town of Adelaide this weekend for a shot at The Goodwood 2014 with race favourite Sistine Demon.
There are still officially 31 nominees for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 The Tapestry Wines Goodwood (1200m) ahead of Tuesday’s final acceptances to reveal a capacity 20-starter field.
Heading the pre-The Goodwood field odds at bookies around the country is Excites four-year-old Sistine Demon.
The ultra-consistent gelding has won eight of their 16 career starts and seven of their past eight assignments around the country and city tracks in Melbourne.
Saturday will be their first interstate assignment with Noblet, who left his job as stable foreman Leon Macdonald 12 years ago to train solo in Victoria, bringing the horse home with him after their big win last time out.
“I’m an Adelaide boy through and through and it is great to be going back with a great chance in such a big race,” Noblet told The Australian.
In their first Group race on April 19, Sistine Demon earned their The Goodwood favouritsim when overcoming their outside barrier 14 draw in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) to win by six lengths.
It was an impressive effort from the up-and-coming sprinter as they hit the rail near the 100m mark, becoming unbalanced but recovering for their barnstorming triumph.
In the Victoria Handicap Sistine Demon was ridden by South Australian apprentice Jamie Kah, currently riding in Melbourne for Mick Price, who will also return home to retain the ride at Morphettville this weekend.
“It was a pretty easy decision,” Noblet told The Advertiser over the booking of Kah.
“I discussed it with the owners and we’re happy to have her on.
“She gets on really well with the horse.”
The only query for Sistine Demon is how they will handle the drop back from 1400m to 1200m, but Noblet is confident they’ll be sharp enough with freshness on their side.
“Being only his second run in about two months, the horse is nice and fresh,” Noblet said.
“He came through last run well, he’s in great order and we’re really happy with him.
“From the 1400m to 1200m is a different tempo, but his form over the 1200m is pretty good.”
As for the main dangers to Sistine Demons’ win on Saturday, one is a local hope Miracles Of Life in her career swansong.
The Daniel Clarken-trained 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes winning Not A Single Doubt filly is in top form for her final prep with three top two runs at Morphettville in the past month.
Her most recent run was a Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) win over Jazz Song last Saturday that she could back-up from to finish her career at elite level this weekend.
Miracles Of Life will be sold by connections at the Gold Coast sales later this month and will likely fetch a good price as a potential star in the breeding barn based on her top class track achievements.
Fellow female gallopers Driefontein and reigning The Goodwood winner Platelet are then the next best in betting after running first and second respectively in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) here on April 26.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the official The Goodwood 2014 field released tomorrow, after which our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au will open betting on the classic.
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