Trainers declare it’s the best Hollindale Stakes in history

As Vanna Girl prepares to rumble on her home Gold Coast track, Trent Edmonds has declared Saturday’s Group 2 Hollindale Stakes is so strong it almost resembles a Cox Plate field.

“It’s probably the best Hollindale ever,” Edmonds said.

“You’ve got your Makybe Diva Stakes and races like that in the Victorian spring but this race on Saturday is every bit as good, probably better.

“It’s like a Cox Plate field.”

There is no doubt the $500,000 Hollindale will be one of the highlights of racing around the country on Saturday, with big-name contenders such as Avilius, Melody Belle, Fifty Stars, Homesman along with promising import Zaaki.

Godolphin warrior Avilius is the $4.80 favourite but the race is deep with the field having banked a collective total of more than $26 million in prizemoney.

Queenslander Vanna Girl is a $19 chance in the 1800m race and Edmonds, who co-trains with father Toby, says they won’t be making the same mistake as they did when the mare finished seventh in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Randwick last month.

On that day, Vanna Girl drew barrier one and Damien Oliver rode her closer than she is normally ridden but the plan in the Hollindale is for jockey Brad Stewart to be more conservative.

“I’ve got no doubt she will run really well, we are going to ride her a little bit steadier as well which suits her best,” Edmonds said.

“Every time we rush her up on speed she doesn’t finish off as good, it just takes that sprint away from her.

“We made that mistake the other day in the Group 1, from barrier one we tried to be positive and be just behind them but that dulled her finish.”

Toby and Trent Edmonds with Stradbroke Handicap winner Tyzone, who has been spelled. Picture: Nigel HallettSource:News Corp Australia

The Edmonds camp also have a key chance in the two-year-old Gold Coast feature, with colt Debussy likely to give his rivals something to catch in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m).

Dubussy was nowhere near fully primed for his debut but still won when he put away his opposition at Eagle Farm over 1000m last month.

The colt could make big improvements in the Ken Russell where he is a well-backed $9.50 chance.

“He’s a fair bit fitter than he was last time,” Edmonds said.

“He was ready to race OK but there was always going to be improvement in him.

“I thought he was going to win by three or four lengths but he did enough to get the win.

“He will roll forward on Saturday, make his own luck and be there a long way.

“If they run him down in the last little bit, so be it.”

Meanwhile, Edmonds said last year’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap winner Tyzone is being spelled after tearing a muscle, leaving popular galloper The Harrovian as the stable’s chance to win back-to-back Stradbrokes.

Originally published as‘Best ever’ Hollindale compared to Cox Plate

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