Alec Laird’s runner earned his status in the Golden Horseshoe over 1400m and the Premier’s Champion Stakes over 1600m last season. In the Golden Horseshoe he beat Kochka by a short head and he then went down by 0.75 lengths to that horse in the 1600m race.
Laird has a powerful team of three-year-olds who he is campaigning strategically around the country and Forest Indigo, who made a good seasonal debut in a 1200m sprint a few weeks ago, should get back into the winning swing.
Silver Haven, who is two years older, is an unsound individual but when trainer Joey Ramsden has him well, he produces some good performances. In his penultimate start he stayed on well for fifth, 2.10 lengths behind Unencumbered and that effort shows what he is capable of on his day.
Mike Bass’ charge Top Jet and Justin Snaith-trained Cape Cutter renew rivalry after finishing a head apart in first and second in a 1600m Port Elizabeth feature. Cape Cutter has the advantage at the revised weights but Top Jet unleashed a strong burst and there will be little separating them again.
Snaith’s other runner, Vice Admiral, is likely to race handily, having pulled off a betting coup against weaker opposition with those tactics in Port Elizabeth last time out. He is a determined galloper but may be found wanting when the whips start cracking.
Ramsden-trained Bush Ranger won in fast time when beating subsequent maiden winner Definitive over 1400m at Kenilworth last time out. This race will show where he slots in against well-performed, more exposed rivals and he should not be discarded.
Nordic Warrior started his career in an encouraging manner but has battled in his last two starts. Trainer Brett Crawford and jockey Glen Hatt are in form but it is doubtful Nordic Warrior can compete with Forest Indigo if Laird has his charge at his best.