They finished well clear of the pack running the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes quinella last time out and now Head Of State and Profondo face off again in the Group 1 $1,000,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick.
A field of potential Victoria Derby-bound three-year-olds face off in the Spring Champion Stakes field on Saturday and the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au suggest the lightly-raced Richard Litt-trained Profondo ($3.40) can go one better than his lead-up second in the Gloaming Stakes over 1800m.
The progressive Deep Impact colt, whose only other start was a winning debut in a maiden at Kensington on September 1, comes into barrier nine with the early withdrawal of Chill (3) and jockey Robbie Dolan retains the ride.
Litt knows just how much is riding on Profondo winning the Spring Champion Stakes, the colt able to boost his potential stud value, but is keeping his cool ahead of the big day.
“Profondo is a special colt, and people have invested a lot of money in me but I try not to overthink it,” Litt, 31, told Racenet this week.
“I know everything is perfect, his work has been very good, in particular his work on Tuesday was excellent.
“This colt is ready. I can’t do anymore. I’m more nervous taking Wander to Orange not knowing if he can win.”
The Chris Waller-trained American Pharoah colt Head Of State meanwhile is the close $3.80 second elect chasing the Gloaming Stakes – Spring Champion Stakes double recently completed by Shadow Hero (2019).
Despite the dominance of the Gloaming Stakes duo, Waller remains respectful of all the other competition and isn’t tipping a two-horse affair.
“I don’t think this is a two-horse race,” Waller told Punters.
“When they stepped up to 1800 metres for the Gloaming Stakes last start that was a new form line.
“It will be different again when they go out to 2000 metres for the Spring Champion Stakes, but I’m confident Head Of State will be suited by the distance.”
Two fillies remain to take on the colts and geldings in this year’s Spring Champion Stakes led by the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Never Been Kissed.
The New Zealand-bred daughter of Tivaci is bred to stay and is expected to run out the 2000m well after her upset win over the Randwick mile last time out in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m).
Last year the David Payne-trained filly Montefilia made history as the first to win the Flight Stakes – Spring Champion double and Never Been Kissed is at a current quote of $4.80 through Ladbrokes to repeat the feat.
Sunshine Coast horseman Stuart Kendrick saddles-up the other filly in the mix with his consistent daughter of Written Tycoon, Bulloo, coming off a nearly two length win in the Toowoomba Guineas (1625m) a fortnight ago.
The 2021 Spring Champion Stakes is scheduled to run as Randwick Race 8 at 4:50pm (AEDT) on Saturday’s big 10-race card in Sydney.