Australian Oaks runner-up Scarlet Dream will take the next step towards her Metropolitan Handicap goal when she lines up against a tough field of seasoned stayers in the Kingston Town Stakes at Randwick.
Keen to get some more miles in her legs, trainer Mark Newnham confirmed Scarlet Dream would take her place on Saturday despite the likelihood the meeting would kick off on a heavy track.
The mare has raced once this spring for a close second to Articus at Randwick on September 7.
The Kris Lees-trained Articus franked the form by running second to Rock in Friday’s Group Three Cameron Handicap.
“She needs to go around,” Newnham said.
“She’s on track to hopefully get to the Metrop third-up.
“She’s come on really well since her first-up run. Tommy (Berry) came and galloped her on Monday and was really happy with her work.”
Scarlet Dream has been placed twice from two runs on soft tracks and while she was well beaten at her only start on heavy ground when seventh to Verry Elleegant in the Vinery Stud Stakes, Newnham said the run was difficult to read.
“She was disappointing in the Vinery but that was on a very heavy track and on a tired track at Rosehill where she was back and wide, which is not the place to be at Rosehill at any time so it was a bit of a forgive there,” Newnham said.
“She’s only run twice at Randwick and has been narrowly beaten both times.
“The nice big track at Randwick suits her, the improving track will suit her and she’s right down in the weights.”
Metropolitan Handicap markets are likely to receive a shake-up after the Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) with four of the top five horses in early betting for the Group One race set to clash at Randwick.
The Chris Waller-trained pair of Come Play With Me and Girl Tuesday, along with Hawkes Racing’s Supernova and Scarlet Dream, are $11 equal favourites for the Metropolitan and the quartet are all set to line up in the Kingston Town.
Waller will saddle up seven runners in Saturday’s race including Sydney Cup winner Shraaoh, reigning Metropolitan winner Patrick Erin and the promising Finche who finished fourth in last year’s Melbourne Cup.