By Brad Gray
The Godolphin juggernaut rolls into the autumn carnival led by the likes of Hartnell, Hauraki and Astern but Handfast could also be one to watch in the royal blue over the coming months.
The four-year-old son of Street Cry has been a real eye-catcher in both of his trials ahead of his resumption in the G2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) where he'll face the likes of Music Magnate and Kuro.
“He’s a bit out of his grade in this, but he’s going better than he’s ever gone,” said John O’Shea.
“We’ve got the National Sprint in Canberra as his target.”
Handfast's latest trial - Jan 17
Handfast's first trial this prep - Jan 5
Godolphin will also be represented in the Canonbury Stakes (1100m) by Malahat and in the Widden Stakes (1100m) by debutant Savatiano.
“(Malahat) was unlucky at his only run. He’s only a little bloke but he goes okay,” said O’Shea.
“We quite like (Savatiano), but it could just be a matter of whether she’s sharp enough. “I expect her to take a little time to find her feet and then attack the line.”
Chetwood, meanwhile, will be out to protect his picket fence of four straight wins when he resumes in the Australia Stakes tonight at Moonee Valley.
“He’s been set for this and he’s shown us with what he’s done at home that he’s ready,” a bullish O’Shea said.
“All I wanted was to draw out a bit and he’s come up with barrier eight which should suit him nicely.
“He’s trialled very well and this looks an ideal lead up for him to the Orr Stakes in a couple of weeks.”