They have met twice before and on both occasions it has been five-year-old Jannie Borman-trained Groovy News who has come out the victor.
Much is in the favour of this gelding in this race. He jumps from a good No 5 draw and shoulders a modest 54.5kg which over this type of trip should provide a much needed advantage. The bump up in trip shouldn’t raise too many red flags. He’s shown a liking for 2200m and is yet to run out of the money over the course and distance.
Almost the entire field is held on form by this son of Strategic News, he’s impressively defeated all but Straw Man, Emblem Honour, Portman Square and Spurwing Summer – respect. He’s ultra-consistent and should once again give a good account of himself.
Five-year-old Bill Human-trained Royal Master doesn’t have the luck of the draw today: he’s drawn No 13. However, he does have the class to overcome it and the talent to get the better of his arch-nemesis in this event.
Other than that he has a lot going in his favour. He shoulders a light 53kg, 1.5kg less than Groovy News and he runs his best races over the course and distance. In fact, this son of Jet Master is undefeated over 2200m. He caught the eye in his last outing when justifying favouritism by cruising to an impressive 4.50 -length victory.
Under the current conditions, that run suggests Royal Master could be crowned king come the finish line. When he was beaten by Groovy News it was over 1800m, they now face over Royal Master’s favoured trip which could make for a tight finish. The pair make for great Swinger and Exacta bets.