Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott are backing themselves that Yao Dash is up to cracking a Group I at start three while they’re also confident the real Dawn Passage can emerge from a disappointing last start defeat.
The two-pronged attack make up part of an elite eight-horse field for the 1400m three-year-old Group I.
Yao Dash is the least experienced runner of the bunch, progressing from a Canterbury maiden to Saturday grade before heading into the Group I.
Bott admits the stable was initially hesitant to throw the son of Smart Missile in the deep end but felt it best to give him his chance when he scored impressive back-to-back wins.
“Yao Dash has been faultless to date,” Bott said. “He is an improving horse. The only knock is that he is giving away the experience.
“He is the most lightly raced of the horses going in there. He is doing it all on his first campaign, which with an abundance of pace.
“It is not an easy thing to do but the conditions are right for him.
“We will be a much better horse in the autumn there is no doubt about that.
“The only hesitation we had in our minds initially was, do we go straight to the Golden Rose but he has done everything right since his last run and gone the right way. I don’t think should deny him that chance.”
Yao Dash will be ridden by Adam Hyeronimus and looks to be the likely leader in a race not blessed with an abundance of speed.
“It is a small field, tactical sort of race and he has got that natural speed that should suit,” Bott said.
“I think the form around him has stood up and he deserves his chance. If he can handle that sharp class rise at this early point in his career he is going to be a big chance for us.”
Yao Dash is a $5.50 chance with TAB.com.au while Dawn Passage is $26.
Dawn Passage finished close to eight lengths off Bivouac in The Run To The Rose with fellow Golden Rose contenders Yes Yes Yes, Exceedance and Kubrick all finishing well in advance of the colt.
“Whether the blinkers, his positioning in running or blinkers didn’t suit, we were looking for a few excuses (in that race) but he seems to have come out in great shape,” Bott said.
“He is in excellent order and going into that race were really confident he would run big.
“We are happy just to put a line through it and back ourselves with the horse.
“He will probably be ridden a bit more conservative. It’s a tricky draw there for him which ensures he has to be ridden quietly but he is in great shape and can’t fault him at all.”
Tim Clark rides Dawn Passage on Saturday.
Article courtesy of Racenet / Mitch Cohen