James McDonald will return to riding Arcadia Queen “super cool” in Saturday’s $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill and believes she can deliver another super performance despite losing favouritism to Brutal after her failure in The Everest.
The star mare beat only one home in the $14m showcase at Randwick but McDonald warned punters to forgive her cracking under pressure of the 1200m track record pace.
“She is not a 1200m horse and we probably got it wrong by trying to use the barrier and push forward on her,” McDonald said. “She is very good and I think you will see that again on Saturday
“She was never comfortable in The Everest and I feel the 1500m is a trip where she will be able to relax in the run and show her turn of foot.
“I will ride her super cool because I think that’s when she responds best. She didn’t like the bustling early in The Everest and it showed late. I think we probably would have been better not to draw well because we would have switched her off in the run if we were drawn out.
“I think on Saturday you are going to see the Arcadia Queen we saw in her Theo Marks win and if we do they are going to have to be very good to beat her.”
Arcadia Queen touched $2.80 in the Golden Eagle before The Everest but now is on the second line of betting at $4.20 with Classique Legend behind Doncaster winner Brutal, the $4 Beteasy favourite.
McDonald has great faith in Arcadia Queen, knowing the power she showed in the Theo Marks on her Sydney debut, but admits she is facing quality opposition.
‘I think the longer trip and being back to Rosehill, which is home, are big pluses for her,” he said. “It is a great race … just looking at the field they are some of the best horses in the country.”
The first Golden Eagle will draw a quality line-up, with champion trainer Chris Waller set to have Epsom winner Kolding, which will be ridden by Glen Boss, join Arcadia Queen in the feature for four-year-olds.
Kerrin McEvoy returns to Sydney to renew his association with Classique Legend, while Nash Rawiller, who rode him in The Everest, sticks with Silver Eagle winner The Inevitable.
Aidan O’Brien is likely only to have one runner in Never No More. Ten Sovereigns has been ruled out of stepping up to the 1500m after his failure in The Everest. The international flavour will be added to by Richard Hannon-trained Le Bon and I Am Superman for Michael O’Callaghan.
Coolmore is set to fly in a jockey from Ireland to ride No More and Antilles, which runs in the Rosehill Gold Cup, after being unable to secure a top Australian hoop.
The jockey will be confirmed early in the week but it will not be Ryan Moore, who is riding at the Breeders Cup meeting in the United States.
Meanwhile, Greg Hickman will target the Redzel Stakes with Pierata chasing the bonus prizemoney on offer for runners from The Everest and Sydney Stakes.
“It is a great concept,” Hickman said. “It encourages you to stay in Sydney and I think the 1300m is probably better for him at this point of his preparation.
“He has come through his run in The Everest [where he ran fifth] very well and we have found in the past that the further he gets into his preparation the more he likes to get out in trip.” – Chris Roots, The Age.