Thu, Feb 15, 1:44pm by Staff Writer
Group 1 racing continues in Melbourne this Saturday with Flemington hosting G1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) day. The rail is in the true and although there is the lightest sprinkle forecast, the track should be in the good range.
Everest winner – and arguably Australia’s best sprinter – Redzel ($1.80) returns to the races in the Lightning and has opened an odds-on favourite for the race in which all ten runners are first-up. Redzel went through his four runs undefeated last campaign with six straight wins and 11 from 21 in total. Of those six consecutive wins, two were at G1 level, one at G2, two at G3 and the biggest earner of them all, The Everest.
Terravista ($8.50) won this race last year and was nosed out in a photo-finish the year prior, with two wins and five minors from eight starts at Flemington. He’s also won six – with three placings – from ten first-up starts with stable mate Ball of Muscle ($14) also set to line up here for trainer Joe Pride.
Redkirk Warrior ($11) has a bit of a liking for the Flemington straight himself with a G1 Newmarket (1200m) and a G2 Bobbie Lewis (1200m) win next to his name and he’s three from six when first-up while stable mate Formality ($10) is down on 53.5kg.
Hey Doc ($9) is a three-time winner at the track – one of those being a G1 Australian Guineas (1600m), the other two in G3 grade while Missrock ($19) was given a good push by connections in what has been a ‘target race’ for her.
Cliff’s Edge ($5) resumed from a break with a win in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and he’s equal favourite in a wide open G2 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) alongside lightly raced stable mate Peaceful State ($5). Cliff’s Edge has won five from 11 career starts including two G3’s while Peaceful State has won two from only four starts and he’s second-up after an impressive BM70 win at Sandown.
Outside the equal favourites, Cao Cao ($9) is also a last start winner while Scarecrow ($14) and Grunt ($9) are eyeing three-in-a-row. Sully ($16) and Mainstage ($21) haven’t fared too well in the barrier draw for Busuttin and Young, likewise with the Hayes/Dabernig duo of Muraaqeb ($9.50) and Eshtiraak ($18) who have drawn barriers 15 and 16 respectively.
Group 1 winning filly Aloisia ($2.60) returns from a break in the G3 Vanity Stakes (1400m) in which she’s opened favourite. A G1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) winner, she then beat Cliff’s Edge – by 3.5L – in the G2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) before a sixth of 12 in the G1 VRC Oaks (2500m) when sent out an odds-on favourite.
Paris Rock ($4.60) is undefeated in her three starts while Banish ($9) – a winner of four from eight and two straight before a break – and Twitchy Frank ($9.50), a winner of three from five, are the only other runners to open under double figures although Bring Me Roses ($8) has been met with good early support after opening as much as $11.
SUGGESTED BET: Kings Will Dream ($2.10, race 4, number 7) is a lightly raced four-year-old from the Darren Weir yard having his sixth start overall and third in Australia. He’s got three wins already to his name with two from two in Australia and whilst he’s short enough, here’s hoping he can continue his unbeaten record ‘Down Under’.
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