Curragh trainer Ken Condon is keeping his fingers crossed Success Days can shoot down Australian racing's greatest star, Winx, in Sydney this Saturday.
Success Days has made the journey ‘Down Under’ for the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes over ten furlongs in which Winx is a 1-7 favourite to match the legendary Black Caviar’s 25-race unbeaten streak.
The scale of the Irish raider’s task is indicated by how he has never won at the top level while Winx is the world’s top-rated turf performer and is seeking an 18th Group One success.
Condon travelled to Australia earlier this week and has engaged Hong Kong's top jockey Joao Moreira for his stable star who will break from stall eight at the Randwick track this weekend.
Success Days is known as something of a mudlark at home. However conditions have been unseasonably dry in Sydney recently and Condon appears to be realistic about the chances of his 33-1 outsider.
“He’s a Group Two level horse and he’s Group One placed, and he’s beaten some good horses on his day, [but]) that’s not good enough to trouble Winx,” he said in Sydney.
“You roll the dice half the time with these matters [weather]. We definitely thought this meeting was going to be on slow ground,” Condon added.
Although Winx is expected to scoop the $2.3 million first prize, the runner-up receives $755,000 while the third home gets $395,000.
"The prizemoney is excellent and I'd say this could open up things down the line and we might come back with something better," said Condon who will have a runner – Twenty Minutes – closer to home at Dundalk on Wednesday night.
Twenty Minutes lines up in a ten furlong maiden where Ger Lyons’s Hyperlapse can boast a 77 rating.
That's 2lbs ahead of Twenty Minutes and Dermot Weld's Sandaryann although the latter could still be the one to beat.
He was the outsider of an Aga Khan pair in Cork recently but after being ridden prominently throughout found only Tullyallen too good. On a better surface, and with that outing under his belt, the gelding can go one better.
Aidan O'Brien unleashes his first two year olds of the season in the opener. The $1.1 million purchase, Sergei Prokofiev, is a son of Scat Daddy while The Irish Rover was a 150,000 Guineas purchase.
The combination of John Oxx and Godolphin may have the solution to the mile and a quarter handicap in Raven's Hat.