Owner-breeder Alan MacAlister will be out to reaffirm his affinity with the Northam Stakes and continue a hot run of success in feature races on Sunday.
MacAlister, fresh from completing a clean sweep of juvenile races with Whispering Brook, is chasing his third consecutive win in Northam’s premier sprint.
Group One champion, Magnifisio, when prepared by Jim Taylor, won in 2014 and Dawn Approach, trained by Vaughn Sigley, scored an upset win last year.
Magnifisio, now in the stables of Sigley and Dawn Approach, are poised to play a strong hand in the Northam Sprint, the Listed race attracting just six starters.
Magnifisio, a rising seven-year-old, was well beaten for second when racing first up this campaign in the Marjorie Charleson Classic (1200m) at Ascot on April 2.
However; she bounced back strongly and showed she still had an appetite for racing when she defeated Zonte in the Sheila Gwynne Classic (1400m).
Sigley said a drop back to 1100m would not pose a threat to Magnifisio, who is approaching half a million dollars in prizemoney.
“I’m not bothered by that at all and she is fairly easy to freshen up,” Sigley said on Tabradio.
“She is the class horse of the race without any doubt.”
Sigley favours Magnifisio, but believes Dawn Approach, who his chasing his first win since last year’s Northam Stakes, will be the improver.
The son of Statue Of Liberty led the field with 200 metres remaining but was swamped late and faded to fifth to Ron’s Call when resuming.
“He probably found the 1200m a bit tough first-up,” Sigley said.
“A few took him on and he was found wanting the last little bit.
“I really expect him to improve a fair bit.
“Back to 1100m is his pet distance and I’m looking for a good showing.”
Pat Carbery takes the reins on Dawn Approach, drawn in barrier one, for the first time in three years.
Jason Brown and Magnifisio, who drops 2kg to 57.5kg, combine from gate five.
Carbery and Brown are also in the hunt for their third Northam Stakes success.
Carbery partnered Money Exchange (2008) and Vain Raider (2009).
Brown rode Barakey (2012) and Magnifisio (2014).
RWWA: Julio Santarelli