Global Exchange (Image: Racing Photos)
The Maher-Eustace stable has a big opinion of Dundeel colt Global Exchange, with the in-form three-year-old continuing his path to the $2 million ATC Derby through Friday night's Group 2 Alister Clarke Stakes (2040m) at The Valley.
Global Exchange impressed last start when stepping up to Group company, winning the G2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield.
The colt has won three of his five starts and remains on the first line of betting for Friday night's feature, despite drawing gate 12.
"The barrier isn't ideal and I'd suggest we'll be taking a conservative approach with him heading into the Derby," said co-trainer David Eustace.
"But he's taken nice improvement from that run, he's come on again and the trip will be no trouble at all.
"He's stepping up in trip but we're going in as confident as you could be that he'll see it out."
WATCH: Global Exchange's last-start win
Bought for $130,000 at the Karaka Sales two years ago, the son of Dundeel hasn't raced at The Valley but has had some crucial gallops at the track in the lead-up.
"He's had a nice look around The Valley already, it's not usually our plan to be assertive but from that barrier he'll probably have to try and get across early, we've got a good jockey on again (Ben Melham) so I'm sure he'll make the right call.
"We'll keep the blinkers on, at his age he's so lightly raced but he ran comfortably in them when having them on for the first time last start.
"After Friday I wouldn't think he'll be having another run before the Derby (at Randwick on April 6)."
It could be a good night for the stable at The Valley, with two other key chances across the eight-race card.
Redoute's Choice mare Kardashing hasn't finished outside the placings in her past four runs, including a last-start second at The Valley over a mile.
The four-year-old hasn't raced beyond 1600m before but will step out to 2040m in the last event on Friday night.
"She's not proven at the trip and she's also drawn wide, but she's a filly that likes to flow along and she'll just roll forward," Eustace said.
Entire Kemono will also have his second start for the stable in the Listed Ranvet Abell Stakes (1200m) after joining from the Darren Weir yard.
The four-year-old import has had six starts since arriving in Australia, including his first outing for Maher-Eustace when finishing fourth earlier this month in the Listed Bob Hoysted (1000m) at Flemington.
"We were happy with that performance, he ran home well to finish fourth," Eustace said.
"We're putting on the blinkers and think while he'll run well he's still probably a run away.
"We're not 100 per cent sure though where he'll go next because we're still trying to work out his best distance.
"He hasn't run further than 1200m in Australia but he as previously run well over a mile in Japan so we're still just assessing his best trip."