Royal Descent aims to beat string of seconds at Randwick
SIX-year-old mare Royal Descent will have another crack at winning the George Main Stakes over 1600m at Randwick on Saturday after finishing runner-up in the Group One race for the past two years.
Smart mare Streama beat her in 2013 before she ran into quality miler Sacred Falls in last year's race.
Trainer Chris Waller has nominated several runners for the George Main, including the very smart Kermadec and German import Flamingo star.
Royal Descent's performance in particular could likely determine what feature race she contests in the spring.
The winner of more than $2.5 million, Royal Descent has been nominated for several big races, including the Epsom Handicap, Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup, with her performance on Saturday likely to determine her spring program.
Waller may have to find a new jockey for Kermadec if Glen Boss does not get a stay of proceedings, or win an appeal against a careless riding charge from Saturday's Flemington meeting. Boss was furious after being outed for 10 meetings for causing interference on Kinglike in the Danehill Stakes (1200m).
Kermadec and Royal Descent chased home Chelmsford Stakes winner Complacent, a surprise first-up winner over the Randwick mile last start, and both will be strongly fancied again.
Waller won't have things all his own way, however, with the powerful John O'Shea stable nominating Hauraki, imports It's Somewhat and Magic Hurricane, and Sweynesse which would be well in contention on his best three-year-old form from last season.
Other interesting runners include the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet, which is on track for a tilt at the Cox Plate and was an excellent fourth in the Chelsmford after racing wide throughout, and Lucia Valentina, which made plenty of ground late when resuming behind Hooked in the recent Group Two Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.