Star mare Alizee has been in stunning form in Sydney and will now be out to showcase her considerable talent in Melbourne when she heads south for the Group One Futurity Stakes.
Convincing wins in the Listed Christmas Classic and the Group Two Expressway Stakes in Sydney so far this campaign have Alizee poised to chase her third Group One win in Saturday's Futurity (1400m) at Caulfield.
She is the short-priced favourite for what will be only her second Melbourne start, the other coming when she finished third in the 2017 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield as favourite.
Trainer James Cummings is expecting Alizee to hold her form.
“I think she'll fly along,” Cummings said.
“She's just in the best form and she couldn't be any better within herself.
“I was watching Manuel hold them up and sprint home well a couple of weeks ago in the C F Orr Stakes and it gave us the opportunity to see a few horses at the track and distance but perhaps not with quite the pressure of most Group Ones.
“I'd imagine horses we saw run well there have still got plenty of juice left in the tank to run well again.
“Brave Smash is bound to improve and Land Of Plenty, those horses are serious horses and Alizee is going to have to bring her very best.
“But she's just flying.
“It would be our expectation that she's capable of running a really good race again.”
Eight-year-old Hartnell was last of five runners in the Expressway but the grand campaigner has won a C F Orr Stakes and Lawrence Stakes over the Caulfield 1400m.
“He was racing over an unsuitable six furlongs first-up but I like the way that's kept him sharp for seven furlongs,” Cummings said.
“He'll travel down throughout the week and I'd imagine if there is any hint of a slowly run seven furlongs again, a horse like Hartnell can be right there and they might find him a little harder to shake off if he's within two lengths of the lead.”
Group One winner Best Of Days was a close fifth in the Orr and has been kept fresh and well for 1400m.
“Look for that horse to be running another strong race at seven furlongs and I think he'll be crying out for the mile third-up,” Cummings said.