SHANE Nichols says he couldn’t have Streets of Avalon going any better heading into the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) on Friday night.
Looking to land his third Group One victory, Streets of Avalon has been off the scene since finishing a length away in the Group Two Feehan Stakes in early September.
Mornington-based trainer Shane Nichols said there just hasn’t been a suitable race for the gelding until now.
“We could’ve gone to the Moonga Stakes (1400m) but the track was going to be rain affected and that wasn’t ideal for us,” he said.
“He’s always gone really well at the Valley and obviously the top 14 sprinters in the land ran in The Everest (last weekend) so that will take some depth out of the race.”
Despite having his best success’ over the slightly further 1400m trip, Streets of Avalon has shown he’s more than capable of matching motors with the speedsters over 1200m.
His last few runs over the trip have resulted in runner-up placings in the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes in 2020 behind Viridine and in 2021 behind Sansom. He split those runs with a Group Two win at The Valley earlier this year defeating Viridine.
Nichols said he’ll certainly make his presence felt on Friday night.
“He probably worked as quick and as well this morning as he’s ever worked,” he indicated.
“He’ll be up there turning for home it’s just whether he can let down well enough to overhaul Group 1 class sprinters over the shorter trip. They’ll certainly know he’s there though.”
Jockey Zac Spain hops back aboard Streets of Avalon after having to miss his last outing. He partnered the gelding to his last Group One success in the C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m).
Streets of Avalon will potentially head towards the Group Three Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield next month.