Emperor and Subterranean can measure up in Randwick features

Emperor and Subterranean are flying under the ready heading into their Randwick features and trainer Matthew Dunn is confident they will be very competitive.

Trainer Matthew Dunn isn’t concerned there has been virtually no focus on his feature race runners, Emperor and Subterranean, going into the Royal Randwick meeting on Saturday.

Promising two-year-old colt Emperor is rated at $17 for the $2 million Inglis Millennium (1100m) and his three-year-old stablemate Subterranean is out to $26 for the Group 3 $160,000 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m).

But Dunn believes both horses are capable of running competitive races against their more high-profile rivals.

The trainer’s confidence in Emperor’s winning chances was given a timely boost by champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy after a trackwork session earlier in the week.

“I asked Kerrin to come and ride Emperor in a gallop at Canterbury on Tuesday morning and it was good to get his feedback,” Dunn said.

“Kerrin rode Emperor in the Breeders’ Plate earlier in the season and he was really impressed by how much the horse has come on from that first start.”

Emperor ran third in the Breeders’ Plate behind Sejardan and Zambezi River back in October with the trio clashing again in the Inglis Millennium.

At his only other start, Emperor ran on well for third to Plymstock and Deep Expectation at Randwick two weeks ago.

Dunn suggested Emperor has the form around the right two-year-olds to put him into Inglis Millennium contention.

“Emperor is flying under the radar,” Dunn admitted. “But his form is around the favourites like Sejardan.

“In the Breeders’ Plate, he drew a ‘crappy’ gate that day and did plenty of work which took his dash away so he did well to finish third.

“Then, first-up we knew he was underdone; we went all the way back and had to make a long run but he peaked late.”

Dunn said the Inglis Millennium barrier draw which has Emperor coming out of gate six gives his colt the chanced to be competitive in the big race.

“Emperor gets the right run from the good barrier this time,” the trainer added.

Subterranean has always been held in high regard by Dunn but the three-year-old hasn’t quite delivered on the racetrack – yet.

Dunn is hoping the decision to have Subterranean gelded after the horse’s spring campaign will enable the three-year-old to realise his potential and the early signs are good.

Subterranean trialled well leading into his comeback effort when he ran a close fifth to Silent Impact at Randwick last month.

“Nash (Rawiller, jockey) said Subterranean wasn’t concentrating in his races last preparation but he rode the horse first-up and thought he went really well,” Dunn said.

“His run the other day was as good as I wanted to see from him but he has bumped into a bunch of decent three-year-olds in this race.

“I think the best of this horse will be when he is third and fourth-up but he is going the right way.”

Dunn is taking a quality team to the Randwick meeting including Lady Banff ($9) in the Vinery Handicap (1300m).

Lady Banff hasn’t won for nearly two years but the grey mare indicated she was close to regaining top form again when second at the Gold Coast last start.

“I think Lady Banff is in the right race and is up to this level,” Dunn said.

“She actually galloped with Emperor at Canterbury earlier this week and she is flying.”

The Dunn-trained duo Broken Arrows and Soami clash in the TAB Handicap (1200m).

Broken Arrows is in top form, having scored first-up at Warwick Farm before a close third at Randwick two weeks ago while Soami is resuming after a career-best winter-spring campaign last year.

“I’m really happy with Broken Arrows, he is going great, and I want to run Soami although I’m a bit concerned about his wide draw,” Dunn said.

Laure Me In disappointed Dunn first-up and the trainer is looking for an improved run in the Yarraman Park Handicap (1600m).

“We went into his first-up run quite confident he could run some sort of race but he was a bit plain,” Dunn said.

“He has galloped well since and he does look well. He’s certainly capable of running a good race.”

Originally published as Matthew Dunn is confident underrated pair Emperor and Subterranean can measure up on the big stage

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