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Neufbosc, the former French stayer who raced against chaimpion mare Enable, can secure his first Australian win in the Group I $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Form guru Gary Crispe said Neufbosc had steadily improved in each of his three starts since joining the Lindsay Park stables of David Hayes and his son Ben, and Tom Dabemig, and will appreciate getting out to a staying trip for The Metropolitan.
"I thought Neufbosc showed good improvement at Caulfield last start when he ran on for seventh behind Brimham Rocks in the Naturalism Stakes," Crispe said.
"This horse boasts some very strong form in France, most notably finishing second in the Group 1 Grand Prix De Paris over 2400m behind Kew Gardens.
"Neufbosc also ran behind Enable in the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and although he finished well back, he was sent out a 30/1 chance and there isn't a horse in The Metropolitan field that would be less than 100/1 in an Arc.
"With leading jockey Nash Rawiller to ride, Neufbosc should prove hard to beat."
Crispe said Brimham Rocks, a runner-up in The Metropolitan last year, was arguably going better this year.
"Brimham Rocks is drawn to get a lovely run and has to be respected," he said.
The Mark Newnham-trained Scarlet Dream did enough second-up to suggest she is ready to peak for The Metropolitan, according to Crispe.
"Scarlet Dream's effort to finish second in the ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) last preparation leaves her well placed at the weights and she should get her chance from the inside draw," he said.
Funstar's superior tactical acceleration gives her the decisive edge over Probabeel in what is essentially a two-horse race for the Group 1 $500,000 Flight Stakes (1600m).
There are only six starters in the three-year-old fillies classic but Crispe said only two winning hopes — Funstar and Probabeel.
Funstar edged out Probabeel in a thrilling finish to the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) last start and Crispe predicted a similar result tomorrow.
"There was very little splitting the two fillies in the lead-up and they both appear set to peak getting out to the 1600m," Crispe said.
"But I have a slight leaning towards Funstar.
"The small field is unlikely to see a strong tempo and she possesses the best turn of foot.
"Probabeel was very strong at the end of 1400m but, if it is a sit-and-sprint affair, she might struggle to pick up Funstar.
"Either way they have panels on the rest and will certainly fight out the finish."
Article taken from Daily Telegraph, published Friday 4th October 2019, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 40.