Punters at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney will witness history on Saturday, with the inaugural running of the Golden Eagle (1500m).
The $7.5 million race boasts a $4 million cheque to the winner and the race is exclusively for four-year-olds.
At set weights under the weight-for-age scale, the boys will carry 57.5kg and the girls will carry 55.5kg.
Eagle-eyed punters will notice three horses have been tasked to carry 56.5kg. Why? Because technically they are three-year-olds back in the northern hemisphere, where they come from.
But don’t worry, I don’t give any of those three a genuine chance of winning.
After seeing the Japanese claim the riches of the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate, I’m confident the cash will stay Down Under.
Later in the week, I’ll be putting up my thoughts on each of the key races on Derby Day, while my Melbourne Cup preview will drop on Sunday.
Good luck if you’re having a flutter.
1. Brutal (17)
Trainers: Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes
Jockey: Tommy Berry, 57.5kg
This lightly raced colt probably starts a couple of ticks shorter if he drew a gate, but instead will jump from the car park. The 1500m chute at Rosehill does allow a run of around 300m before the first turn, so Tommy Berry is going to have to fire him out of the gates and hope he can find a spot before taking a breather.
He can win, but he’ll need luck and I’ll go against him at those odds.
2. Classique Legend (1)
Trainer: Les Bridge
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy, 57.5kg
A really nice horse who is unproven at this distance range. Some rain would help but there’s not a lot on the forecast. Draws to do little work and will be somewhere in the finish, but maybe a couple of pairs off the winner.
3. Kolding (4)
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Glen Boss, 57.5kg
The winner of the Epsom had his form franked somewhat when Te Akau Shark came out and ran third in the Cox Plate. The Shark ran second in the Epsom and couldn’t get near Kolding that day. However, at weight-for-age level, Glen Boss is going to have a trickier assignment.
Kolding goes up 7kg from the Epsom and would need a peak performance to be winning this. A definite place chance.
4. The Inevitable (3)
Trainer: Scott Brunton
Jockey: Nash Rawiller, 57.5kg
I’ll be hoping this Tasmanian runs a big race. The star has been a model of consistency since making his racing debut with six wins from eight starts. Was a terrific winner of the Silver Eagle at Randwick, the nominated lead-up race and will be very hard to beat with a class jockey and a good barrier.
5. Gem Song (9)
Trainer: Kris Lees
Jockey: Brenton Avdulla, 57.5kg
Has been terrific for connections but might find this a bit too hard based on form and at set weights.
6. Zousain (12)
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Glyn Schofield, 57.5kg
Hard to make a case for him. He’s an out-and-out sprinter and this is over 1500m. Making up the numbers.
7. Behemoth (8)
Trainer: David Jolly
Jockey: Todd Parnell, 57.5kg
This South Australian galloper has a good race in him somewhere, but it won’t be this one.
8. Military Zone (13)
Trainers: Peter and Paul Snowden
Jockey: Andrew Adkins, 57.5kg
In one of the best stables in the land, but that won’t help him on Saturday. Poorly weighted and has drawn wide. Hard to make a case for.
9. Jonker (2)
Trainer: David Atkins
Jockey: Robbie Dolan, 57.5kg
Bookies have his price right. Can’t win.
10. Fun Fact (10)
Trainer: Bjorn Baker
Jockey: Brandon Lerena, 57.5kg
Here’s a fun fact: he won’t be winning.
11. Beat Le Bon (15)
Trainer: Richard Hannon
Jockey: Pat Dobbs, 56.5kg
This French-bred, English-trained colt makes his Australian debut here and while he’s shown some form back home, he’ll find our racing a little bit too slick.
12. Never No More (7)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot, 56.5kg
Prepared by one of the best trainers on the planet, that little bit of Irish magic won’t be enough. Would have liked to see him have a run before this high-pressure race.
13. I Am Superman (14)
Trainer: Michael O’Callaghan
Jockey: Leigh Roche, 56.5kg
Another Irish horse hoping for a pot of gold at the end of our rainbow. Connections will go home empty-handed.
14. Sunlight (16)
Trainers: Tony and Calvin McEvoy
Jockey: Luke Currie, 55.5kg
A brilliant sprinter at her peak, Sunlight will find this too big a task. She’s drawn poorly and probably hasn’t shown us her best form this preparation. Happy to risk.
15. Arcadia Queen (5)
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: James McDonald, 55.5kg
Disappointed punters in The Everest when she flopped in the high-pressure race. The race wasn’t right for her anyway. This will be more of her style.
Has been hammered in early betting since the barriers were drawn. My only concern is that she was aimed at a major sprint and now has to back up a fortnight later in this event. Others have been keeping their powder dry for the Golden Eagle. Will that work against her? Perhaps.
A winning chance but awfully short.
16. Mizzy (6)
Trainer: Anthony Cummings
Jockey: Jason Collett, 55.5kg
Didn’t disgrace herself in the lead-up event and has been a good horse for connections, especially this preparation. She’ll be outclassed in the final furlong, but a big run wouldn’t surprise.
17. Fasika (11)
Trainer: Joseph Pride
Jockey: Rachel King, 55.5kg
Hasn’t finished further back than second in five starts and produced an eye-catching run in the Silver Eagle. Probably can’t win, but include in exotics.
A tough race this and it helps the race that Brutal has drawn the outside because there should be a solid tempo in the initial stages.
Arcadia Queen is the horse to beat, but I don’t like those odds about a Western Australian mare who hasn’t really proved herself over on the eastern seaboard.
The Tasmanian has as good a chance as any – and is at a backable quote. Nash Rawiller should be able to smoke the pipe in the running line and make a dash in the final 400m.
Suggested bet: The Inevitable each way.