Nominated alongside 12 other three-year-olds for the Randwick Group 3 on Saturday, trainer Tony McEvoy has confirmed exciting prospect Affirmation will complete a hit-out at Hawkesbury on Tuesday morning ahead of the 2014 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m).
Returning to racing in exceptional form this time in, Affirmation will carry winning form into the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes having taken out each of his two most recent starts; including a stunning three length victory in the Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap (1400m) last time out.
Somewhat worried about the possibility of a heavy track at Randwick on Saturday, McEvoy told AAP he will use Tuesday morning’s trial to test the Not A Single Doubt gelding’s form, condition and legitimacy of a position in the Up And Coming Stakes.
“He’s got to please me tomorrow morning,” McEvoy said.
“We’ve had an incredible amount of rain at Hawkesbury. I’m hoping I can get a good piece of work into him tomorrow and if he pleases me and comes through it well he’ll run on Saturday.”
Yet to confirm a path for the three-year-old through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, McEvoy said he has been pleased with the way Affirmation has taken to his racing return and will consider a Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) berth should his success continue this weekend.
“I thought he was ultra-impressive with 57-1/2 (kilograms) on his back, running better sectionals than the Bletchingly Stakes on the day,” McEvoy said.
“If he shows me that he’s really competitive on Saturday in this class we’ll certainly consider the million-dollar race.”
Finishing fifth behind subsequent Group 1 champion Peggy Jean in the Inglis Classic (1200m) on debut on January 18th, Affirmation has more than stamped his claims as one to watch through spring with his two standout performances this preparation so-far.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Up And Coming Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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