Laverrod (inside) finishing third at Flemington last start (Image: Racing Photos)
Dom To Shoot and Laverrod might not have the same profile of their Western Australian counterparts who swept into Caulfield last weekend, but they might well leave as big a mark on the Melbourne autumn.
Co-trainer Sean Casey has made Melbourne home for the past month and a Group 1 win in the Australian Guineas for Dom To Shoot would make for the ultimate souvenir of his trip east.
"I can't be happier with him," Casey said of the gelding.
By Shooting To Win, Dom To Shoot is named in honour of Dom Sheed's match-winning goal for West Coast in the 2018 AFL Grand Final and, like Sheed, he's looking to make his mark on a Victorian sporting landmark.
"He's benefitted a lot off the run (in the G3 C.S. Hayes Stakes) and stepping up to a mile is right up his alley and obviously the barrier we got is a lot better than last start, so expecting him to go well."
Champion WA jockey William Pike, victorious in last week's G1 Oakleigh Plate - albeit in a dead heat - will take the ride on Dom To Shoot, having sat on the horse for the first time this week.
"He rode him on Tuesday morning in a gallop and had a feel of him and seemed pretty happy with him, so looking forward to tomorrow and see how they pair up together," he said.
The gelding would need to win or, at the very least, place on Saturday to have a chance at fulfilling his other goal this trip, a start in The All-Star Mile on March 13.
"He's going to have to go pretty well to warrant a start but if everything does go well, I think he's worth a shot at it," he said.
Laverrod will contest the BM90 over 1200m earlier in the day and, after a promising first-up run down the straight a fortnight ago when third to I'm Telling Ya, is likely to start favourite with the bookies despite jumping from barrier 14.
"I think he's better with a sit just behind the speed, but we'll leave it up to Damien (Oliver). I think he knows what he's doing," Casey said.
"Obviously he's had a look at the straight and I think he's going to be a lot smarter for tomorrow and benefitted from the run and can't wait to see what he can do tomorrow."