Forest Spy builds on imposing record

Rising star Forest Spy is set for a showdown with in-form stablemate King's Champ at Flemington later this month after posting his most significant win in the Listed Barton Stakes (1400m) at Sandown.

Trained by Danny O'Brien and ridden by Steven Arnold, the four-year-old continued his love affair with the distance and the Sandown track when racing away to a 1-3/4 length victory over Mock with Step Ahead a half-neck back third.

Forest Spy has won eight of his 14 starts including six wins from eight runs at 1400 metres and five from six starts at Sandown, three on the Hillside circuit and two from two at Lakeside which hosted Saturday's feature.

His next planned run is also over 1400 metres in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington on January 28.

O'Brien's assistant trainer Gino Mata said King's Champ, who has won his last four starts and posted his first city success at Sandown on January 7, had also been earmarked for the Chester Manifold.

"It might be an interesting clash in the Chester Manifold," Mata said.

"He (Forest Spy) showed us in the past he just can't get anything over 1500 metres but he runs a very strong 1400 metres.

"He's had 28 days off and we like to race him fresh.

Mata said Forest Spy sprained a tendon as an unraced two-year-old but connections were now being rewarded for their patience.

"The key to him is not to get outsprinted," Mata said.

He said Forest Spy won the race when he took off at the 600 metres and reeled off his next 400 metres in a stunning 21.88s.

"They were never going to beat him when he did that," Mata said.

By Robert Windmill - AAPRacingandsports