By Ray Hickson
Josh Parr is well aware of the importance of making no mistakes on crack colt Menari at Rosehill this Saturday.
On the back of what was arguably the ride of his career, giving Winx a scare on Red Excitement in the Chelmsford, his attention turns to completing Menari's build up to the Golden Rose.
''It's very exciting to get on a horse that has above average potential and is going to line up in Group 1 races and be a solid chance,'' Parr said.
''There are jockeys that get these opportunities every Group 1 that comes around but I'm pleased to be on this one.''
The Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) will see the long awaited rematch between Menari and San Domenico Stakes winner Pariah.
The pair have met twice, though the Golden Slipper doesn't really count as neither appreciated the heavy ground.
When they clashed in the Canonbury back in January, on good ground at Rosehill, most felt Menari was unlucky to meet defeat.
Parr said the three-year-old ranks appear very strong this year but is backing Menari's quality to shine through.
''I think he's improved both with his fitness and, as risky as it is to say, he may well have improved ability wise,'' he said.
''It's going to be a hot race, it's the main lead up for the Golden Rose but I feel I am on a very good horse.''
Pariah is the $6 TAB Fixed Odds favourite for the Golden Rose with Menari and Kementari on $8.
Egg Tart's barrier trial at Warwick Farm - August 25
Fresh from a career best five winners at Randwick last weekend, Kerrin McEvoy is looking forward to seeing what Egg Tart can produce in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m).
McEvoy partnered the dual Oaks winning mare in an easy exhibition gallop, between winning races on Up 'N' Rolling and Embley.
''She feels like she has strengthened up which you'd expect now she's turned four,'' he said.
''The trial showed she was full of energy and I'm sure if Brenton (Avdulla) had pushed the button on the day she'd trial even better.
While trainer Chris Waller is likely to plot the same path in the Sydney spring as he did with Winx two years ago it's important to remember that Egg Tart is not Winx.
McEvoy said Egg Tart has the potential to do anything this season and, without knowing the final make up of the field, is expecting her to run a big race first-up.
''She's like a champagne bottle waiting to pop the cork,'' he said.
Winx has at least one fan in the USA that believes she doesn't need to jump on a plane to prove herself the world's best.
Candice Hare, American horse racing network TVG's international expert, took to Twitter after Winx's Chelmsford win to say as much.
And an international campaign for Winx in 2018 is no sure thing according to the champion mare's part-owner Peter Tighe.
Just before her 19th straight win at Randwick on Saturday he said ''proving herself'' overseas isn't a priority in the short term.
I love how it's apparently up to Winx to travel around the world to "prove herself."
If you think you're better, go beat her.
— Candice Hare (@chare889) September 2, 2017
''I don't mind either way,'' he said.
''To do the (Royal) Ascot thing would be very nice. I get people who say that we'd be mad to go overseas and others who say we should go.
''We've got to get through this campaign, you want to see her spell well also. I wouldn't be in favour of going if she couldn't be competitive.''
The day before Winx is scheduled to attempt her 20th straight win, and 13th Group 1, in the George Main Stakes she could be crowned the world's best racehorse.
That's when the September edition of the WBR ratings are released and all eyes will be on if Arrogate's two recent defeats, and Winx's two recent wins, have affected those standings.
Expect to see grass laid on the Kensington track in early October but no date has been confirmed for a return to racing.
ATC Racecourse Manager Lindsay Murphy said the club is in no rush to have the track back in action and that it's important the process is done correctly.
''We haven't set anything in place, we will give it most of spring and summer to see how it settles in,'' Murphy said.
''We've done more testing on this track than ever before.''
The Kensington track will be a sandy loam profile similar to the Canterbury surface.
The ATC has programmed race meetings for the Kensington track from March 21 through to the end of June.
Fabricator's third at Hawkesbury - September 2
Horses to Follow
Fabricator (Hawkesbury): refused to settle in the early stages which cost him a spot right on the back of the speed. Wound up buried at the back on the fence in a slowly run race. Held up for runs trying to get to the outside and at nice effort to claim third at his second run back.
Schedule (Randwick): landed in a good spot midfield, came off the bit as the leading pack broke away. Ran up behind them in the straight then checked off heels at the 200m. Kept coming to run fourth first-up and should have finished closer.
Dawn Wall (Randwick): snagged out to last and they didn't break any records up front. Swung widest on the turn and produced a sharp sprint, may have hit the front late but the winner had an easier run and just kicked back to beat her. Solid return.