Tue, Apr 11, 3:08pm by Senior Writer
Gai Waterhouse’s search for her first Group 1 of the autumn will hopefully end for the colourful trainer and her partner Adrian Bott with defending champion English equal favourite for the $600,000 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.
English was narrowly beaten by Chautauqua in the TJ Smith Stakes two weeks ago, leading until the shadows of the post, but Waterhouse will roll the dice again with the four-year-old, who was also placed in the TJ last year before coming out and winning this race.
Bookmakers have her as $4 equal favourite with beaten Doncaster Handicap favourite Le Romain, who ran the worst race of his career when 15th in the 1600m feature.
Trainer Kris Lees sent Le Romain back to his farm for a brief freshen up headed into this 1400m race. Based on his second to Winx in the George Ryder and victory over Chautauqua in the Canterbury Stakes, Le Romain deserves to be at the top of the market.
Hellbent is one of five horses nominated by champion Victorian trainer Darren Weir. Hellbent is $8 after his unlucky second in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley, while stablemate Voodoo Lad, who was fifth in the TJ, is also at that price.
Tivaci, who was fourth in the TJ, is $9, while Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior is $10.
Jungle Edge, prepared by hobby trainer Mick Bell, could be the fairytale in the race. Bell had never prepared a Group winner before Jungle edge won a Group 3 two weeks ago. The start before that, Jungle Edge was third in the Group 1 Galaxy.
He is $12 on Saturday, the same price as Chris Waller’s best chance McCreery. Waller also has Japonisme, Arod and Counterattack nominated for the race.
The Champagne Stakes, the 1600m race for the two-year-olds, is the other Group 1 at Randwick on Saturday.
Invader is a $2 favourite having won the Sires Produce in impressive fashion. Frolic, runner-up in the Golden Slipper before beaten into seventh in the Sires, is second pick at $4.60, while Whispered Secret, coming off a win in the Fernhill last week, is at $6.
The Sydney Cup, which was declared a no race after a bad fall on Saturday, has been rescheduled until April 22. A new market has not yet been released.
The Easter Cup will be run at Caulfield on Saturday, with Hans Holbein a $4.20 favourite having missed a start when Caulfield’s meeting last Saturday was abandoned.
The Victoria Handicap over 1400m is the other Group 3 race being run at Caulfield on Saturday with Tasmanian Hellova Street the $5.50 favourite in what is expected to be a very open race.
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