The man who holds the key to today's $170,000 Sires' Stakes at Addington admits he doesn't know which way to turn it.

Although the first major three-year-old race has been won by some champions such as Christian Cullen and Courage Under Fire, rarely has the group one contained so many high-class legitimate winning chances.

"I reckon their are eight winning chances, maybe more," says David Butcher, who will partner King Of Swing.

As the polemarker and winner of the Australasian Breeders Crown, King Of Swing could be expected to try for an all-the-way win, as he did when he won the big Melton feature in August.


"Sure, that is one option but if they are all looking to come forward and challenge it could be the wrong option," says Butcher.

"I think I have to get off the gate and then see what happens. Staying in front could work well but it's such a great field, I don't know what is going to happen."

Mark Purdon adopts the same attitude, even with the dominant hand in the race, and admits Butcher controls the race, at least early.

"A lot might depend on what David does but really I think it will be who gets the best run out of all those good horses probably wins.

"It has been a race over the years where the run you get often matters more than the draw so I really don't know what to expect.

"And that makes it exciting for us as well as the punters."

The All Stars have seven in the race with six likely to start and Purdon opts for Chase Auckland as maybe their brightest light at the moment.

"He might be the best just at the moment because he is unbeaten and has stepped up every time we have asked him to," said Purdon.

"But that can change very quickly with three-year-olds.

"Does mean he is our best chance? That probably depends on how they run it.

"If he trails King Of Swing and he stays in front then great. But there are so many other things that could happen here."

Spankem should be nearing his peak at the right time and The Devil's Own and All U Need Is Faith both appeal as stayers who would relish a brutal 1950m. It appears they are in the right race.

But King Of Swing has never been out of the first two and will make them work while Pat's Delight has been magnificent and Alta Maestro would have been among the favourites with a good draw, which he didn't get.