from Mike Hedge at Godolphin
Bivouac, the world’s top-ranked sprinter of 2020, is in the right form and the right frame of mind to reproduce his best form when he runs in Saturday’s Group One TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.
In a race that seems certain to be his last in this country, Bivouac (Hugh Bowman) will also be out to earn himself a place on an illustrious list of Australian sprinters who have competed with distinction at Royal Ascot.
Bivouac is then scheduled to retire to stud.
“We simply couldn’t have him any better,” said trainer James Cummings.
“Three of his memorable, scintillating performances have come third-up from a spell and his Easter weekend trackwork suggests a jaw-dropping effort is on the cards. We simply couldn’t have him any better.”
“Circumstances haven’t been ideal in his two runs this campaign, but the TJ Smith has been his bulls-eye.
“Physically he seems perfect. His attitude and demeanour show he is in a terrific frame of mind.
“He sprinted beautifully in his gallop on Tuesday in a way that was easy for him. There are few horses in training who can gallop so easily.
Bivouac sealed his world-best rating thanks largely to his imperious victory in the G1 VRC Classic last spring, the third G1 success of his career.
The four-year-old has since been unplaced in two runs this autumn, but Cummings believes he can again hit top form on Saturday.
Bivouac meets the brilliant speedsters Nature Strip and Eduardo in the TJ Smith, along with Eleven Eleven, a winner at his past three starts.
On the same card, Godolphin two-year-old Anamoe (James McDonald) has bright prospects of staking his claim for Australia’s top juvenile honours when he runs in G1 Sires’ Produce Stakes.
The son of Street Boss comes to the race of a second placing in the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes and a third in the G1 Blue Diamond, but with the step up from 1,200m to 1,400m, he is expected to be better suited.
“Brilliance, speed and determination were stamped all over his Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper performances,” Cummings said.
“While the wide barrier condemned him to an impossible position at Rosehill, his run was that of a colt crying out for further. He produced one of the runs of the day.
“He is a very athletic colt and we have always felt he would get stronger with racing. The 1,400m of the Sires’ appears tailor-made.”
Winning prospects are also strong in supporting events, with Flexible (Tommy Berry) attempting to establish G1 ATC Oaks credentials when she runs in the G3 Adrian Knox Stakes, Geist (Rachel King) in the G3 PJ Bell Stakes and Paulele (Damien Oliver) in the G3 Kindergarten Stakes.
For Flexible, the Adrian Knox looms as an important test.
“She’s likely to strike a soft track which should be suitable and she motored home late against older horses at her last start,” Cummings said.
“The 2,000m on Saturday will be a litmus test for her to follow in the footsteps of her similarly bred stablemate Colette who won the ATC Oaks at last year’s autumn carnival.
“Geist’s first five starts were in black-type races and she was placed in two of them and she’s been unlucky not to win one of her past three starts.
“Paulele will enjoy dropping back to 1,100m in the Kindergarten after his defeat at Flemington over seven furlongs.”