What: Group 1 $1 million Epsom Handicap
Where: Randwick, Sydney
When: Saturday, October 3
The Group 1 Epsom Handicap is one of the spring feature events in Sydney and a nice field of 15 runners are scheduled to line up.
Current favourite Winx has attracted plenty of attention already this season and punters have latched on to the price available with bookmakers.
The Epsom is a good indicator moving forward to the Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley and expect the winner to be cut in the Cox market.
There is plenty of other good racing in store at Randwick this Saturday, including the Gimcrack and Flight Stakes.
Race 7 – The Star Epsom (1600m)
Winx has been the boom horse this spring and will start as short favourite for this. The Chris Waller-trained mare has won seven from 13 and even though it has won only one start on this track, the punters are happily taking the shorts after booming home to win the Group 2 Theo Marks. The four-year-old is currently paying $2.80 and if things go its way, it will be flying home late down the outside.
Silverball is an imported stablemate of Winx which has adapted to Australian racing well. The seven-year-old is a four-time winner at this distance and is coming off a last start win in the Group 3 Kingston Town at Rosehill. It showed it isn't just a wet-tracker and there is a nice each way price about it this Saturday. It is currently paying $11 which is the fourth line of betting.
Lucia Valentina is currently paying $8 and it looks a good chance after finishing fourth last start in the Group 1 George Main Stakes at Randwick. The Kris Lees-trained mare has won and placed on this track and needed the two runs in this campaign to get fit for this. It has big race experience and will be flashing home late in the race.
Race 4 – Roman Consul Stakes (1200m)
Exosphere returns to the track following its win in the Group 1 Golden Rose. The talented John O'Shea-trained colt has won four from six and has attracted the big money for this race. It is currently paying $1.55 with most bookmakers and it will be run through plenty of multi-bets. It looks far too good for these so take that price while it lasts.
Japonisme was slightly disappointing last start when fourth in the Run To The Rose, but its form prior was excellent and the bookmakers are keeping it safe in the market. They currently have it at $5.50 which is short considering Exosphere is odds on. It has drawn barrier 11 which won't make it easy, but Hugh Bowman rides and it should be respected here. Watch for any market movement.
Counterattack was a strong 1.5-length winner last start and it looked to have strengthened nicely this time in. The Chris Waller-trained colt has never finished out of the money in three starts at Randwick and its form prior included runs in behind Blueberry Hill and Press Statement. A nice barrier draw here and it's on the third line of betting at $8.
Tip: Exosphere to win ($1.55) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 5 – Premiere Stakes (1200m)
Rebel Dane showed its class last start by winning the Group 2 Shorts on this track. The Gary Portelli-trained horse was well backed on track and did the job right on the line to beat Ball Of Muscle by a nose. It rarely puts two consecutive wins together, but consider here against a small field.
Terravista resumes after a win-less campaign which featured a third behind Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap. The six-year-old is a four-time winner on this track and six of its nine career wins have come on a dry track. Trainer Joseph Pride should have it ready to run and expect a short price come race day.
Famous Seamus wasn't liked at all in the betting last start, but it ran on nicely for fifth behind Winx. The seven-year-old is a dry-track specialist and even though it has to carry 58.5kg for this, it does have an upset chance at odds. Expect a price of around $17 and it could provide some value for multiples bettors.
Tip: Terravista to win at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 8 – Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m)
The John O'Shea-trained Pearls was an impressive winner in the Group 2 Tea Rose last start and the stable has a high opinion of the filly. The three-year-old by Exceed And Excel will likely settle back in the field with the pace being set by Speak Fondly which should give it every chance to run on. It is currently on the second line of betting at $5 which represents a good winning chance.
Speak Fondly has the winning form on the board and being defeated by Exosphere last start is no blight on its record. The Gai Waterhouse-trained filly has won twice on this track and its only career failure to date was when it finished 11th in the Group 1 Golden Slipper. It has drawn well in barrier five and it should roll forward and be tough to run down. Currently $2.60 favourite with bookmakers.
John Thompson lines up Honesta which finished off strongly behind Pearls last start. The three-year-old filly has looked good in a limited career to date which has included two wins on the distance and the inside draw should help nicely. The rise back up to this distance to the mile will suit and it should have an each way chance at $8.
Tip: Speak Fondly to win ($2.60) at Sportsbet.com.au