The return of Golden Slipper winner Capitalist in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (Race 5) provides the intrigue to a handy card of racing at Royal Randwick this Saturday.
The colt overcame a shock defeat in the Todman Stakes to record a popular win in the world’s richest two-year-old race back in March and it will be interesting to see how he performs first-up over the 1200m against some seasoned sprinters.
Having had the benefit of a pair of ‘perfect’ trials, according to co-trainer Peter Snowden, Capitalist has come up predictably short in the betting but there are reasons to think he won’t have things all his own way and our Sydney traders will be looking to oppose him come race day.
With the harbour city drowning under a deluge of bad weather this week, the track is currently rated a Heavy 10 and Snowden admitted the horse is no certainty to run.
Though his trials were on soft ground, Capitalist has never raced on anything other than a good track in a five-start career to date that has also netted victories in the Breeder’s Plate and Magic Millions Classic at Wyong.
With Slipper jockey Blake Shinn unable to get down to the 51.5kgs the horse will carry under weight-for-age conditions, Kerrin McEvoy assumes the ride having partnered the horse in both of his trial wins.
The colt will also be looking to expose the myth of the Slipper curse with the last three winners of the juvenile classic unable to add a single race victory to their tally beyond their two-year-old season.
Second-pick for the race is Gary Portelli’s Rebel Dane (pictured above), a former Group 1 winner making his first start since running a creditable fourth behind English in the All Aged Stakes back in April.
With the Warwick-Farm based trainer declaring his charge is travelling “as good as ever” earlier this week, the market suggests he is the most likely challenger to the hotpot but we’re not entirely convinced that’s the case and are happy to accommodate punters wanting to back him.
While we have respect for his strong first-up record and note that he’s acquitted himself soundly on wet tracks in the past, we feel the horse’s best days are behind him and that he may not offer as much of a threat as anticipated.
Tommy Berry won this race on Sweet Idea back in 2014 and he’ll take the reins aboard Rebel Dane for the first time since the Stradbroke of that same year.
Rodney Northam’s Big Money couldn’t have finished much closer in the Ramornie Handicap last time out and we’d arguably consider him the most likely contender to cause a boilover.
While he lacks the class of the favoured pair, the Scone galloper has raced well at headquarters in the past and shouldn’t be overly perturbed by the conditions.
Tips and Preview provided by UniBet.com.au