Owner Steve Travaglia from Roll The Dice Racing knows the syndicate’s undefeated colt Artie Dee Two needs to “step up” when he takes on a Group race field for the first time on Saturday in Caulfield’s 2016 Vain Stakes.
Markets for the $150,000 Group 3 KS Environmental Vain Stakes (1100m) on P.B. Lawrence Stakes Day this season are firmly led by Peter & Paul Snowden’s Sydney raider, the also unbeaten Russian Revolution ($2.30).
The Darren Weir-trained Artie Dee Two occupies the second line of Vain Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.50 for the win, which would be his third from as many career starts.
Coming to Melbourne for the first time to avoid a clash with 2016 Golden Rose-bound stablemate Capitalist in Sydney’s Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1200m), Russian Revolution jumps from barrier four with Mark Zahra in the saddle.
Artie Dee Two meanwhile gets the rails run from a favourable barrier one draw with Harry Coffey coming on to replace Brad Rawiller who rode the son of Artie Schiller for his two June wins over 1200m at Geelong and Moonee Valley respectively.
Travaglia is pleased with the progress of the new season three-year-old heading into the Vain Stakes, but knows Russian Revolution represents a genuine danger.
“There’s a nice horse [Russian Revolution] coming down from Sydney,” he told Racing Victoria.
“We’ve drawn barrier one which is great.
“I haven’t had a good discussion with Darren yet – he’s been down at Warrnambool as well and had a really good let up.
“Dropping back 100m is probably not ideal.
“He’s a natural running colt, so I think he’ll be thereabouts. It’s a lot stronger race than what he’s been going around in, so he’ll have to step-up to be competitive.”
Roll The Dice’s big runner on the card meanwhile is the fellow Weir-trained Mahuta who is current favourite to win the weight-for-age $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) later on the card.
A winner of six straight as a three-year-old including the lucrative Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas in January and February’s Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, the Flying Spur entire is second-up this weekend with Rawiller retaining the ride.
Forgiven for his 14th to Palentino in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) in March, Mahuta caught the eye when third to Lord Of The Sky and Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) a fortnight back at Caulfield.
He has won two from three at the course he returns to on Saturday and will relish the step back up to 1400m, a distance the now four-year-old has won all four of his previous starts over.
Travaglia is confident the markets look right with Mahuta a winning chance in the meeting’s marquee race, but said the horse wasn’t tipped to peak until the $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 27.
“He pulled up really well – we were happy with how he attacked the line that day,” he said.
“He’s gone back to Warrnambool, and he’s loving it down there.
“He’s doing a lot of sandhill work, Darren’s really ramped up his work so he’ll strip a lot fitter but still have a bit left in the tank for the Memsie.”
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