Bivouac early favourite for Oakleigh PlateSunday 16 February 2020
Trainer James Cummings is confident Bivouac is on song for his bid to become the latest three-year-old to win a feature open-class sprint this season.
The Group One Golden Rose-winning colt pleased his trainer in a jump-out at Flemington on Friday in preparation for his return in Saturday's Group One Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield.
This century Fastnet Rock (2005), Snitzel (2006) and Starspangledbanner (2010) have all won the Oakleigh Plate as three-year-old colts.
Filly Miss Kournikova won in 2001 while Weekend Hussler, a gelding, was successful as a three-year-old in 2008.
No three-year-old has won since Starspangledbanner but Bivouac, to be ridden by Craig Williams, is the early $2.80 favourite ahead of Monday's nominations.
Three-year-old filly Anaheed is second favourite at $4.80 after beating the older horses in the Group Two Rubiton Stakes (1100m) last start.
Tim Clark is booked to continue his association with her in Saturday's race.
Already this season three-year-olds Yes Yes Yes (The Everest), Loving Gaby (Manikato), Alabama Express (C F Orr) and Standout (Group Two Expressway) have won open-class feature races.
Bivoauc was a luckless sixth as the odds-on favourite in Loving Gaby's Manikato.
Cummings said he was delighted Bivouac leading into his first start since the spring.
"What I like is that he is still mentally switched on but very willing," Cummings said.
"He's got an excellent mind and he is focused on his training which gives me every indication he is going to do the same once we saddle him up.
"From that perspective we're excited to see him return."
Another three-year-old contender is Free Of Debt who was second to Super Seth in the Manfred Stakes first-up and Craig Newitt has been booked for the ride.
After breaking through for his first Group One win with Gytrash in Saturday's Lightning Stakes, Adelaide trainer Gordon Richards is expected to chase another in the Oakleigh Plate with four-year-old Bold Star who was a last-start second in the Rubiton Stakes.