Trainer Matthew Smith is hoping Plymouth Road can repeat his last-start 2400m-win at Randwick.
Fresh from success with an imported stayer at Sandown, Sydney trainer Matthew Smith will make another raid on Melbourne racing.
Villardo won over 2400m at Sandown on Wednesday and Smith will send La Courbette south for Saturday’s Banjo Paterson Series Final (2600m) at Flemington.
Both joined Smith from Europe and while Plymouth Road didn’t come from quite so far away, he fits the profile of a new type of horse in the Smith stable.
A winner over 2400m at Randwick last Saturday week, the New Zealand-bred former Victorian returns two weeks later for a similar race.
“If you are buying yearlings you are waiting up to two years to get them to the races,” Smith said.
“With these horses they get to the races quicker. They are up and running within a few months which is better for the owners and they get a return.”
Plymouth Road is owned by Terry Henderson’s OTI Racing and is the first winner Smith has had for the well-known syndicator.
He is the $3 favourite to repeat his victory with Adam Hyeronimus to ride again.
“Adam rode him well last time and got him into a rhythm,” Smith said.
“The horse is a really good wet track stayer and we are hoping he can do it again.”
Smith opted not to run Plymouth Road in last Saturday’s Listed Winter Cup (2400m) but believes he can reach stakes class.
He has no qualms about La Courbette in the Listed staying feature at Flemington after the mare’s last-start third behind Lycurgus and Grey Lion who are among her rivals again.
She meets both horses better at the weights for being beaten just over a length and is at $11 with Lycurgus the $4 favourite.
Another European import, Invictus Prince will be having his first start for Smith at Randwick over 1300 metres.
“He is going to be better when we get him up to 2000 metres but it’s a good place to kick him off,” Smith said.
Invictus Prince was formerly trained by Sir Michael Stoute while Smith will soon welcome Dark Acclaim to Australia.
Earlier this year when trained by Marco Botti, Dark Acclaim ran third in a race won by subsequent Belmont Stakes runner-up Gronkowski.
Smith bought him on behalf of a group of owners at the recent Goffs Summer Sale in England.