The return to action of highly touted filly Omei Sword in the Eskimo Prince Stakes (Race 6) over 1200m punctuates a big day of racing at Randwick this Saturday.
A dominant first-up winner of the Silver Shadow here last August, Chris Waller’s charge finished a meritorious second to the flying Astern in the Golden Rose and appeared headed for big things.
Until a respiratory infection led to her being withdrawn from the Flight Stakes and put paid to the rest of her spring campaign.
Waller, who would be encouraged by the strong recent record of horses racing fresh in this event, has spoken of the ‘huge expectations’ his camp has of this filly with the Coolmore Classic on March 11 the ultimate target for her this preparation.
In at Unibet headquarters, where Tivaci’s upset win in the Kensington Stakes rescued an otherwise bleak weekend for us, we share Waller’s high opinion of Omei Sword and fancy her to be one of the stars of the autumn.
As the only filly in the race, she’s likely to land a blow for the girls here but we are in the business of laying favourites and are happy to accommodate punters at odds around the 2.50 mark.
Godolphin colt Bezel has come up second pick after a successful stint of racing in the second half of 2016 reaped three consecutive wins ahead of his narrow third to Comin’ Through in the Carbine Club Stakes on Derby Day.
Headed around the 150m mark, the horse showed considerable tenacity to fight right to the line but despite meeting the winner better at the weights, we’re not entirely convinced he has the necessary zip to win this and are keen to oppose him.
Indeed, at the prices we felt that the other Godolphin runner, Bryneich, represented better value for punters given the dominant manner of his first-up win during the most recent Canterbury night meeting.
Settling just off early pacesetter Beau Tirage, this colt stuck to the rails around the corner before finding another gear at the 200m mark to put a space into his rivals, jockey Brenton Avdulla afforded the luxury of easing him down near the line.
Comin’ Through, meanwhile, also looks set for a fruitful preparation but we might not see the best of him until he steps out to a mile again.
1. Omei Sword