In-form Simply the Best, King D favoured
BACK-TO-FORM SIMPLY THE BEST and KING D meet for a second showdown at 1100 metres after their Christmas Eve clash in the War Zone Sprint.
Running out of Gary Subratie's barn for the third time after moving from Philip Feanny, SIMPLY THE BEST turned around her form by outgunning speedy KING D down the backstretch and repelled the colt in a heated stretch battle decided by a head.
Now a four-year-old, SIMPLY THE BEST had made a bright start at two. Blessed with blinding speed, she won on debut and was also impressive in a near 10-length victory as a three-year-old last March.
However, she missed almost the entire classic campaign due to injury and was sparingly raced until turning out for Subratie in October, reporting off a near three-month lay-up.
Even then, she was slowly into stride in back-to-back races but surprised pundits in December by suddenly displaying her old speed, humbling KING D, who ran gallantly and lost no mark in defeat.
Every pound count
Returning at the exact distance on Saturday, KING D reports six pounds lighter with a change of apprentice riders, Andre Powell replacing Bebeto Harvey.
Trainer Spencer Chung is aiming to make every pound count, standing down Harvey, who can?t make weight, in favour of Powell, less accomplished, but has no problem riding at 52.0 kilos.
Dane Nelson returns aboard SIMPLY THE BEST, who will be two pounds lighter than their previous meeting but on the wrong end of a four-pound swing in KING D?s favour.
Neither are exercise bangers so there is nothing in the form book to suggest which has come out of the Christmas Eve clash better.
However, for SIMPLY THE BEST to have taken on and beaten super-fit KING D on her third start for Subratie, she should return even better for the rematch with her problems identified and resolved. Dane Nelson being retained is also in her favour, despite allowing the colt two pounds.
Should the two engage in a breakneck duel on the lead, MISTER BONES is perfectly weighted, 48.0 kilos, to mow them down if female rider Andree Powell can get him close enough in the stretch run.