By Jon Lees
Australia: Addeybb will face just four rivals when he bids to win the G1 Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill Gardens for the second time under Tom Marquand on Saturday.
The A$700,000 (£388,000) contest over 1m2f features Addeybb’s third head-to-head with top mare Verry Elleegant in a field completed by Master Of Wine, Prince Fawaz and Nettoyer.
Up to 75mm of rain is forecast in Sydney which would help provide Addeybb’s preferred soft conditions but his trainer William Haggas, speaking to RacingNSW, believes Verry Elleegant should be favourite.
“I’ve been watching Verry Elleegant closely all year and she’s a pretty smart filly,” he said. “He’s come halfway across the world and she’s come down the road.
“If we win it would be great for us, but we’re not confident about anything. We’re pleased to have the horse there, we’re pleased to have the rain, and the horse in the condition that we would hope at this time of the year.”
Addeybb captured both the Ranvet Stakes and G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes during an unbeaten trip to Australia last year in which Verry Elleegant was runner-up both times.
Addeyyb returned to Britain to end the year winning the G1 Champion Stakes at Ascot while the Chris Waller-trained Verry Elleegant has won four top level prizes since, including the G1 Caulfield Cup.
Marquand partnered Addeybb in his final work on Tuesday with stablemate Favorite Moon, who makes his Australian debut in the G3 Manion Cup, won by Young Rascal 12 months ago.
“Addeybb needed that bit of work but he is pretty well where we want him to be for a first run,’’ said Haggas. “If you look back to last year he improved from his first to his second run and he will do that again but he goes well fresh.”
Kerrin McEvoy rides Favorite Moon, who won two staying handicaps at Haydock last year, as he only has 8st 4lb.
Haggas said: “I thought this year we’d bring a younger horse who is likely to improve. He likes a bit of cut in the ground. He’s not bad, he’s not as seasoned as Young Rascal was but he has six kilos less.’’