Polarisation has faced the one-week back-up on many occasions and run well, so there is no concern with him lining up two weeks later, but a major concern is the heat found in his fetlock over the weekend which required a veterinary inspection on Tuesday.
Likewise, Chance To Dance will have no problem backing up considering he’s done it many times before, and he seemed to improve off this Adelaide Cup (3200m) run where he carried 58kg.
Of that trio, Penglai Pavillion has drawn barrier 16 and will have to go forward, while Chance To Dance (barrier 5) and Polarisation (barrier 8) should enjoy soft runs before staking their claim.
It really is hard to split that trio but if the track dries out to better than a Soft 7, I think Chance To Dance gets the nod.
He’s placed just twice from seven runs on Soft tracks, and with five wins and seven placings from 16 starts on Good tracks, he should improve on drier ground.
Of the others, Lasqueti Spirit gets in poorly at the weights for a three-year-old filly and it’s hard to see her holding off these tough stayers.
Who Shot Thebarman hasn’t won at Randwick in 12 starts, while stablemate Libran has to carry 3.5kg more this year than when he finished runner-up to Gallante last year.
His form this time isn’t as good either so it’s hard to recommend him.
The third of Waller’s trio, Kinema, is very unpredictable and has a tendency to overrace.
This race is an afterthought for Boom Time and I don’t like him on the one-week back-up, and stablemate Harlem has also just been thrown in at the last minute.
It would be a major upset if either of the 80/1 chances, Mr Impatience and Pentathlon, get up, and I don’t think Tally is suited as well as others over two miles.
That leaves race favourite Big Duke as the main danger to those that showed their hand in the abandoned Sydney Cup.
Big Duke was travelling well around midfield before being pulled up, and considering Craig Williams had a hard time pulling him up, he had plenty more to give.
He possesses a great turn of foot and the only other runner to show a similar turn of foot was Polarisation.
Big Duke is effective on all types of ground, has drawn well in barrier 2 for three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss, and didn’t have to slug it out like the first four past the post.