“James is a great judge of a race and has the ability to lift them. He has had plenty of success here and has adapted to our racing.
“When we were looking for a rider, I was very happy when he was available and I think his ability over the longer trip can only help her chances.”
Miss Siska found the group 1 mile company a bit slick for in the Toorak Handicap and Empire Rose Stakes before stepping up to 2000m to beat all but Oceanex in the Matriarch.
“We have had this in our minds for a while, and I think we have found a good race for her at weight-for-age,” Begg said. “She is very fit after a couple of runs at Flemington during the carnival, and it is the right time to try her.
“She has been getting stronger and the 2400m on the big track should be right up her alley. There are couple of nice horses in the races, but none of them are bringing the form she does into the race.”
Southern France, which wasn’t suited in the slowly run Melbourne Cup, is the $3.80 favourite at Beteasy. Miss Siska has had support with punters and is down to $9.50 after $20 was offered earlier in the week.
While Miss Siska takes the opportunity for a crack at group 2 in the Zipping Classic, Begg has planned Vanuatu’s assault on the Summoned Stakes since the beginning of the preparation.
The High Chaparral mare started her campaign with a strong win at Cranbourne before running into third in the Tesio Stakes on Cox Plate day despite a wide passage and gets to a race Begg earmarked at the end of last preparation.
“This is the race we have targeted. We picked it out six months ago,” Begg said. “She has had those two runs to get her to her peak, and she has won at Sandown before.
“We feel she is a black-type mare and she got a placing at the Valley. Now we want a win.”