There is no shortage of options for 1000m specialist Battle Anthem this week, but the barrier draw will likely determine if trainer Donna Grisedale targets the Summer Sprint at Randwick on Saturday.
Grisedale has nominated her in-form four-year-old for a trio of sprints at Gosford (Friday) and in town.
That includes the feature sprint at Sydney’s racing headquarters on the weekend, which would undoubtedly be Battle Anthem’s biggest test to date.
“It will come down to acceptors and barriers,” Grisedale said.
“At first glance the three and four year old race over 1000m [on Saturday] is the obvious one but there is a lot of handy horses that are 1000m specialists nominated.
“The [Summer Sprint], a lot of those nominated are quality horses but they probably want a bit further.
“If I go that way, I know he can run a good 1000m and a fast last 600m so I will probably accept in both races and then decide.”
One time Golden Slipper runner-up Frolic and wet track specialist Jungle Edge have both also been nominated for the Summer Sprint, with the latter likely to benefit from a predicted rain-affected surface.
Battle Anthem would only have to carry 53kgs if Grisedale chooses to head that direction. The Kembla trainer has patiently taken Battle Anthem through his grades since debuting the son of I Am Invincible in March last year.
The gelding has together a handy record of two wins and four placings from seven starts since then.
Both victories have come at each of his last starts over the 1000m at Kembla Grange and then Gosford on New Year’s Eve.
Grisedale believes he should benefit from a shorter turnaround third-up.
“He did have 55 days between his last run so he got the opportunity to get fat again but this time he hasn’t had that long of a break between runs,” she said.
“He holds his condition probably too well so there is improvement left in him,”
Saturday’s fields will be released on Wednesday, with trials to return to Kembla on the same morning.