Dreamliner, Royal Assault the ones to watch
DREAMLINER and ROYAL ASSAULT headline tomorrow's overnight allowance after both were beaten at 1200 metres a month ago by 10-1 upsetter PROLIFIC PRINCESS.
Now going a half-furlong shorter, distance suggests that the younger DREAMLINER should get the better of four-year-old ROYAL ASSAULT as the handicaps have not moved much, a pound or two between the principals.
ROYAL ASSAULT, however, had an excuse for his third-place finish. Returning off a near five-month lay-up, he had stumbled a bit at the start and was taken up between horses on leaving the gate while DREAMLINER went about his business to dispute the lead with TALENTED TONY K.
Recovering quickly, ROYAL ASSAULT went in chase of DREAMLINER and TALENTED TONY K from three furlongs out. He stuck to the task after turning for home, gaining along the rail before PROLIFIC PRINCESS swept past both close home.
With that run under his girth, ROYAL ASSAULT returned two weeks later in the Grade One Sprint, on Superstakes Day, to finish fourth in a high-quality field.
Breaking from post-position two in the Sprint, ROYAL ASSAULT chased BUZZ NIGHTMARE, CAMPESINO, CRUCIAL APPEAL, and CHACE THE GREAT to the wire, finishing fourth behind a fast 1:11.3, carrying topweight 57.0 kilos.
From a clean break and running eight pounds lighter than when he competed in the Sprint, ROYAL ASSAULT is quite capable of turning the tables on DREAMLINER, who has not raced since, instead being kept fresh by champion trainer Wayne DaCosta.
Though not the most resolute of horses, DREAMLINER could not have asked for a better trip than five furlongs round and has looked somewhat improved since reporting off a five-month lay-up in August.
Omar Walker is familiar with DREAMLINER and knows he'll have to get rid of TALENTED TONY K then ride for all he's worth up the lane to stave off ROYAL ASSAULT.