The Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes headlines another exciting ten-race program at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The rail will be set out 5 metres 1600m-W/Post and 4 metres the remainder, while at publish the track is rated in the Good (4) range.
Preview brought to you by Ladbrokes. Learn more about Ladbrokes HERE.
Race 1 – 12:35PM – Highway Handicap, (1600m)
The consistent Whatsin can win this week’s Highway race.
Whatsin charged in to score an impressive win at Cowra in July and hasn’t missed placing at her three subsequent starts, including a Highway at Kembla Grange.
She looks to be at peak order for this contest and will prove tough to beat once more.
Race 2 – 1:10PM – Midway Handicap, (1400m)
This is a rise in class for Akhtar, but he was an impressive winner on the Kensington course last time out, and he looms as a competitive chance again this week at a price ($14 at publish).
The Annabel Neasham-trained colt needed his first run back when finishing down the order at Newcastle when fresh, but his last effort was far better.
Fitter third-up, we can have an each-way play.
Race 3 – 1:45pm – Cerrone Handicap, (2000m)
Yiyi cruised back into the winner’s stall a fortnight ago, and I don’t see any reason to jump off ahead of his run over 2000m this week.
The Chris Waller-trained gelding has been a model of consistency all prep and hasn’t missed placing at his last six starts.
He kicked clear in the straight last time and held on to beat Bazooka, and the booking of Nash Rawiller certainly doesn’t dent his chances.
Race 4 – 2:20pm – Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes, (1500m)
Coastwatch can win a quality edition of the Stan Fox Stakes.
He is one of almost countless quality three-year-olds currently under the care of Chris Waller, and Coastwatch returned an impressive performance to score the first black type win of his career in the Ming Dynasty two starts back, having only just missed in the Up And Coming when fresh.
He takes his place in this field off the back of a credible third in the Golden Rose, and the small rise in trip looks as though it will be ideal.
Race 5 – 2:55pm – Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes, (1200m)
The Roman Consul Stakes always tosses up a couple of genuine Coolmore Stud Stakes chances, and I think that Paulele will be one of them in 2021.
Paulele has always hinted at above-average talent, but it is fair to say that he is really starting to recognise it this prep.
He owned one of the standout performances of the season so far when charging in to win The Rosebud, and he has only just missed in both the San Domenico Stakes and the Heritage Stakes since.
He looks to be at peak fitness for this race and he is my best bet on the program.
She has needed her first two back from a freshen to find form, but I am confident that Charleise is ready to return a far better performance over a mile in the Angst Stakes.
The Foxwedge mare was outstanding in the winter, recording consecutive wins, highlighted by one at Listed level, before ending her prep second behind King Of Hastings in the Glasshouse Handicap.
I’m confident that the mile is her go, and in-form hoop Jason Collett will have options from an inside draw.
Race 7 – 4:10pm – Silver Eagle, (1300m)
The forerunner to the lucrative Golden Eagle in a couple of weeks’ time has drawn an open field of hopefuls, but I am more than happy to stick with Ellsberg in the Silver Eagle.
Ellsberg returned some quality performances during his autumn and winter prep of this year, winning at Listed level in Sydney and ending his prep second behind Ayrton in Brisbane most notably.
He returned to the races with a lovely performance and win in BM88 company a fortnight ago, and I’m confident that natural improvement will see him into the finish of this contest.
Race 8 – 4:50pm – Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes, (2000m)
There is a case to be made for several entrants in this year’s Spring Champion Stakes, but it looks the perfect target for Head Of State, and I think that he will prove hard to beat.
Head Of State has improved with each of his four starts back this time and led home a similar field in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes a fortnight ago.
Getting out to 2000m should prove ideal, James McDonald is obviously a big bonus and with even luck, I think that he can confirm himself a future career at stud.
Race 9 – 5:30pm – Group 3 The Nivison, (1200m)
She has been charged with carrying topweight, but Sweet Deal is arguably the best horse engaged in this year’s The Nivison, and I am confident that she will run well.
The Casino Prince mare has won plenty of good races throughout her career, and saluted in the Hawkesbury Crown during her autumn and winter prep before ending her season third in the Tattersall’s Tiara.
Her fresh record currently stands at 8:2-2-1, and we can have an each-way play at around the $10 mark.
Race 10 – 6:05pm – Dyson Sprint, (1000m)
On The Lead looks well placed to strike in the last on Spring Champion Stakes Day.
The I Am Invincible gelding ran home well to finish fifth in a similar race to this one when resuming, and he flashed late to only just miss at Gosford last time.
Fitter third-up and from the good draw, I am happy to have an investment.