ROSEHILL hosts stakes racing action this Saturday with the $150,000 Widden Stakes for two-year-old fillies and the $150,000 Canonbury Stakes for the colts. The nine-race card also features the $200,000 Expressway Stakes which includes some of Sydney's best sprinters.
Now is an exciting time to be involved in all things horse racing as the up-and-coming stars are being unearthed as we speak. The Canonbury and Widden Stakes entrants all have their hopes set on much bigger targets and the form out of this meeting will stack up.
Get involved this Saturday at Rosehill by opening up an account with CrownBet.com.au for the best odds available.
The day kicks off at 12.40pm with a small, but select field which includes the very talented former New Zealand gelding Star Wondering.
Race 1 – McGrath Estate Agents R91 (1500m)
The Chris Waller-trained Start Wondering won its first two starts in Australia before getting an unlucky run last time out at Rosehill. The five-year-old gelding was caught three wide in the open and battled on well, but its form prior is the best form guide for this. It's the current $1.70 favourite and we think that price is about fair.
On the second line of betting is stablemate Marenostro which has won seven from its 20 career starts. The talented Duelled gelding won well fresh up this campaign and it only narrowly second behind Snippets Land last start. Its best form comes on rain-affected ground so if it gets conditions to suit, include it in win bets. $3.60 available with bookmakers.
Peter and Paul Snowden line up Great Esteem which disappointed last start at Randwick, but is on the third line of betting at $6.50. The Redoute's Choice gelding is a dry track specialist with five wins from 15 starts on a good track and Koby Jennings takes a valuable 3kg off its back. With conditions to suit it could be a win chance in a tough race.
Race 2 – Tab Highway Handicap C3 (1500m)
Istanbul has yet to win this campaign, but it has been producing big finishes and the rise to 1500 metres looks ideal. Danny Williams knows how to train for the Highway Handicap and even though this runner has yet to perform well at Rosehill, James McDonald stays in the saddle and it looks a handy chance at $3.
Hermosa Beach is the current $2.70 favourite after winning back-to-back races which included a Class 2 Highway Handicap at Randwick. The five-year-old mare has hit a purple patch of form and it carried 57kg to victory two starts back at Canberra where it won by 2.75 lengths. Looks another winning hope in a stronger event here.
Halfpenny Gate has been knocking on the door after consecutive placings and its second behind Northern Fury two back looks to be a good form race. The five-year-old went close in rating 72 grade last start and this race looks right up its alley. Its allotted weight of 60kg comes down to 57kg after the apprentice claim and punters can get $5.50 with bookmakers.
Tip: Hermosa Beach to win ($2.70) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 3 – Canonbury Stakes (1100m)
Star Of Monsoon has been the best backed runner of the field after winning a trial. The Gerald Ryan-trained colt opened at $4.60 and currently sits at $4.20. The well bred son of Lonhro meets a very tough field for its debut, but the betting suggests it has a strong winning chance. It has drawn well in barrier three and carries only 54.5kg. Solid win chance.
Defcon has had plenty of media surrounding it ahead of its debut run. The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained colt by Choisir has won two trials and place in another, with the Snowden's expecting big things from their potential star. Punters have latched onto the news headlines and have bet it into even money. We're expecting the $2 price to drop slightly so now is the best time to get on.
Tessera must be respected after winning on debut at Randwick. The Godolphin colt led and was taken on, but it kicked strongly in the straight and held them all off. That was a very gutsy win and drawing the inside barrier only helps its chances. McDonald in the saddle and the $5 available looks enticing.
Tip: Defcon ($2) at Bet365.com.au
Race 4 – Widden Stakes (1100m)
The Gabrielle Englebrecht-trained Aghna ran well for third behind Magic Millions winner Capitialist on debut and its recent trial win was full of class. The daughter of Foxwedge is owned by the astute Sona Thoroughbreds and even though it has drawn awkwardly in barrier 10, it looks a very strong winning chance. After opening at $9 it has been confidently backed by punters into $4.20 and we're expecting that price to continue to drop.
So Serene finished second behind current Blue Diamond favourite Extreme Choice on debut and that form should stack up nicely. The Gai Waterhouse-trained filly will likely head forward from barrier eight and if it can dictate the pace it should have a strong winning chance. Jockey Tommy Berry is a master at sprint races and it looks a chance at $5.
Chipanda was no match for Star Turn on debut at Randwick, but betting suggests the Godolphin filly will be ready to rebound. The daughter of Sepoy opened at $8.50 and has been backed positively into $7. It has drawn well which bodes nicely for this, but it might find a few too tough here.
Race 5 – Tab More Than Just Winning R72 (1400m)
Niccoco comes over from Melbourne with a handy second placing behind Pattern and it should relish another try at this distance. The Tony McEvoy-trained gelding has won only once from eight starts, but it looks to have plenty of professionalism about it and it has been respected in the betting at $5.50.
River Wild opened at $2.50 in the betting and has come in to $2.40 on the back of a strong win last start. The Gai Waterhouse-trained colt defeated a similar field by 1.25 lengths and it has been duly punished in the weights. The well bred son of Fastnet Rock will have to carry 61kg which isn't easy at this level. The price might be a touch short, but it's the best horse in the field.
Denmagic is a two-win filly which beat a handy field on a slow track last start. The daughter of Denman relished the rise in distance, but will be dropping back to the 1400 metres for this. That's a worry against a good field, but it has stayed steady at $6 in the betting and that suggests a good run is expected.
Race 6 – Ascend Sales Trophies R85 (2000m)
European import Award Season has promised plenty in Australia after winning at Warwick Farm four starts back and it should be prime for this distance now. The Kris Lees-trained gelding finished second behind subsequent winner Destiny's Kiss last start and despite coming back from injury, it should have a good winning chance at $7 in the market.
Fellow import Another Cocktail has been well backed in both Australian starts and it hasn't disgraced to date. The Waller-trained gelding finished fourth last start when conditions didn't suit and it will be looking for a firmer track this Saturday. Hugh Bowman sticks with it and bookmakers looked to have got it right in the market at $4.
Magical Stance has done everything but win of late with three consecutive seconds. The five-year-old didn't have the best run in transit last start and still managed to push Piamimi to within a nose margin. It has drawn wide in barrier 11, but it gets an apprentice claim and the $7 looks about right.
Tip: Another Cocktail to win ($4) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 7 – Expressway Stakes (1200m)
Our Boy Malachi is a fan favourite and punters have latched on fresh up here. The Hawkes-trained sprinter originally from Rockhampton has an incredible record of 17 wins from 21 starts and it is unbeaten in two starts on this track. It bled last time to the races in the Group 1 Doomben 10000 which is concerning, but by all accounts it has returned well enough. Slight risk taking the $2.25, but it should give a good sight.
Generalife is also fresh up for John O'Shea and it goes well in this state. The six-year-old has won twice fresh and it loves Rosehill with four wins from seven starts. It does perform better over more ground which is the only concern in this, but consider at $3.60 as punters will also jump on this runner late in the betting.
Solicit is fresh off winning at Sandown in the Group 3 Summoned Stakes and it has won three times when fresh up. The Gerald Ryan-trained sprinter/miler likes to roll forward and create its own luck in the running, but Our Boy Malachi will likely be pressuring it. If jockey Tye Angland can give it a gun ride, it's a chance at $6.50 for each way players.
Tip: Our Boy Malachi to win ($2.25) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 8 – Cellarbrations R78 Handicap (1350m)
Selita has done nothing wrong this preparation for trainer Bjorn Baker after winning its last four on end. The lightly-framed mare has been able to carry big weights to win and that's the case here again with 60kg on its back. The four-year-old looks to have plenty of potential at this level and it's looking to keep its unbeaten track and distance record in tact. $7 available.
Miss Royale has been costly for punters recently, going down as the odds-on favourite in its last two starts. The Chris Waller-trained mare has plenty of talent, but it's a horse that needs everything go its way. It didn't have the best of luck last start so it can be forgiven, but against a smart field, we'd want more than the $5 currently on offer.
Painted Firetail has looked good in three starts to date, winning one and placing in the other two. The Godolphin filly ran on well behind River Wild last start and it will only improve off that effort. The stable has a big opinion of it and punters have backed it from $3.50 to $3.30. Solid winning chance at the weights in this.
Race 9 – Tab.com.au R85 Handicap (1100m)
Sooboog is a talented colt which has placed fresh up and it ran fourth in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes last start. The three-year-old has had its problems, but it is unbeaten on this track and it has won twice at this distance. Good winning chance at $6.
Meursault is a talented Godolphin gelding which has placed at this distance and second up. Its form has been a touch disappointing since winning four starts back, but we wouldn't leave it out of calculations at $7 in the betting.
Le Cordon Bleu was last seen flying home for third in the Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast and that form should stack up nicely for this. It finished only three lengths behind Husson Eagle and it has good form on this track. It is well bred and should be tough to beat at $4.
Tip: Sooboog to win ($6) at Sportsbet.com.au