Sydney raider assembles strong Caulfield team

Trainer Matthew Smith will take advantage of a late feature meeting in Melbourne by having a many as four runners at Caulfield.

Saturday’s Zipping Classic meeting was put back two weeks at the request of the Melbourne Racing Club and transferred from Sandown to Caulfield.

Smith had considered starting Japanese import Keiai Nautique in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) after finishing fourth to Zaaki in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 6.

I’ve put him in the paddock as he had lightened off a bit,” Smith said.

“It was his first prep here. I was tempted, but there’s lots of races that will be suitable in the autumn.”

Smith will enter True Marvel and Sweet Thomas in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m), Festival Dancer in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) and Tricky Gal in the Group 3 Summoned Stakes (1600m).

True Marvel is coming off a 16-length win in a Benchmark 78 race over 3800m at The Valley last start and Smith said the stayer had earned his shot at Listed level after three wins from his past four starts.

“You never expect them to win like that, but they ran it at a good gallop which suited him,” Smith said.

“Sweet Thomas is the same. He needs two miles and a wet track.

“It’s a pity it’s not at Sandown. That would be the perfect track especially with the uphill run home.”

Festival Dancer will be aiming for her fifth straight win in the Guineas having scored a last start victory in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on November 13.

Smith said he had considered the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes at Flemington earlier in the Carnival but elected to stay in Sydney that day where Festival Dancer scored at Goulburn instead.

“I had thought about coming down for the Carbine Club, but then waited for the Spring Stakes as we had had a few runs,” Smith said.

“But the Group 2 has certainly come around at the right time now.”

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