Three-year-old Vinland will face Winx in the Chipping Norton Stakes ahead of the Randwick Guineas.
A desire to get Vinland back onto softer ground has led Melbourne trainer Tony McEvoy to look at a couple of Sydney Group One races with the colt.
The first is a daunting task on Saturday in the Chipping Norton Stakes at weight-for-age against the world’s best horse opn turf, Winx, who will be aiming for her 23rd consecutive win.
But a competitive showing in a field of nine in Saturday’s 1600m race at Randwick would set the colt up for a crack at the Randwick Guineas (1600m) at the same track against his own age seven days later.
“The ground was the determining factor,” McEvoy said.
“He doesn’t like firm ground.”
Vinland held a nomination for two races at Flemington on Saturday, including the Australian Guineas, but McEvoy opted for the Sydney race with Randwick rated in the soft range.
The colt has won two of his seven starts with his best win coming on heavy ground at Sandown in December.
“And I’m hoping when Winx sets her eyes on him she’ll like him so much, because he’s so gorgeous, that she might just want to stay next to him,” McEvoy said.
Winx was at $1.06 on Thursday for her return to racing with 2016 Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon next in the market at $13.
Vinland was at $71.
“They are all very good horses in it but there’s a lot of horses resuming that find it hard to be effective at a mile,” McEvoy said.
“I’ll be really pleased if he runs in the top six and then he’ll back up in the Randwick Guineas.”