Fri, Sep 28, 1:14pm by Staff Writer
It’s a big day of racing in Sydney this weekend with three G1’s highlighting the day. The rail is out three-metres and the track was in the soft range at acceptances but likely to improve.
The Group 1 Epsom (1600m) is one of the features of the day with a capacity field of 20 – plus two emergencies – accepted for the race.
Chris Waller has seven in the final field (plus the second emergency) as he looks for his fourth victory in the race with Unforgotten ($4.50) and D’Argento ($4.20) fighting out favouritism. Unforgotten is third-up after a sizzling win in the G2 Chelmsford (1600m), with D’Argento also third-up after two minor placings behind Winx and Home of the Brave. Mister Sea Wolf ($26) has found a new lease of life winning his past two – both at Listed level.
Shillelagh ($21) was a G1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) winner last year beating Tom Melbourne ($23) on that occasion – who is still looking for his first win since March 2016 while Single Gaze ($61) and Religify ($71) will need to improve off recent runs to be competitive here. Paret ($35) is second emergency, with three wins from his last four starts.
Pierata ($4.80) is the most likely – according to the markets – to upstage the Waller juggernaut as the four-year-old looks for his first G1 victory to put against his name. He’s won five and been placed a further five times from his 12 career starts, and he’ll be better for his recent run when a close second to Siege of Quebec ($13) after a minor setback before that.
That was a much-improved effort from Siege of Quebec as he claimed his first black-type win, and he’s joined by stable mate Arbeitsam ($26) who should be at peak fitness in what will be his third run in three weeks and fourth this month. He looks the likely leader and if left alone could give some cheek like he did when third in the G1 Doncaster (1600m) over the autumn.
Lanciato ($16) has been set for this all along and he will relish a strong tempo. Hartnell ($19) has been within 0.5L of the winner at his two runs this prep, and he’s got top weight in this year’s race. New Tipperary ($31) was a big winner – at big odds – of the G2 Cameron (1400m). Invictus Prince ($27) got within 2L of Winx in the G1 Winx Stakes (1400m) two starts back while Champagne Cuddles ($21) is on the back-up after a second in the G2 Golden Pendant (1400m) last week, the 4YO mare drawing barrier 21 for this.
The G1 Metropolitan (2400m) is another feature and once again Waller is strong in numbers with eight runners in the race.
Brimham Rocks ($5) is yet to crack it for a win in Australia but he’s never finished out of the placings in his five runs here – the furthest back he’s finished in those runs is 1.25L from the winner. High Bridge ($8.50) and The Lord Mayor ($13) are looking for three-straight victories. Libran ($11) has a G1 Sydney Cup placing at this track and distance, and he’s racing well this prep. Patrick Erin ($12) was supported at odds last start when third to Avilius and Brimham Rocks, and he’s third-up here while Opposition ($35), Alward ($41) and Jake’s Hill ($81) round out the Waller group.
Auvray ($18) has top weight and the eight-year-old continues to race well, coming off a close second to Carzoff in the G3 Newcastle Cup (2300m).
Big Duke ($11) was good in the G3 Kingston Town (2000m) and he should improve off that run, up in distance. Midterm ($15) is having his fourth run in Australia and third this prep, the Williams team winning this race last year with Foundry. Miss Admiration ($6.50) is on the quick back-up after taking out the G3 Colin Stephenson (2400m) last week, Sin to Win ($27) third in that race and he’s joined by stable mate Sikandarabad ($19) while Sedanzer ($21) was slightly disappointing behind Avilius last start but she was a G2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) winner last prep, three runs ago. Wall of Fire ($12) is having start number three in Australia and he’s first-up since finishing midfield in the Melbourne Cup.
Suggested Bet: Egg Tart ($2.35, race 4, number 10) is ready to win after two good runs this campaign, that coming off a successful Brisbane winter campaign before that. She’s never won at Randwick but she’s been competitive in better races than this. Ace High is ready to peak and Luvaluva should improve but Egg Tart looks the one.
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