Big Weekend of Quality Competitive Thoroughbred Racing
Punters have a cornucopia of Group 1 races on which to place one or many wagers this weekend.
Flemington will host the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000 m) and the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200 m).
Royal Randwick outside Sydney will stage the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600 m) and the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300 m).
Only the Randwick Guineas carries an age restriction. It is limited to three-year-olds and is run under set weight conditions.
The Randwick Guineas is being run as the Mostyn Copper Group Randwick Guineas this time around. It was won last year by Inference from Invincible Gem and Comin’ Through, both favoured over Inference.
This year’s markets have Kementari on the first line, with a price of $2.70 on Ladbrokes, with Glyn Schofield riding the colt sired by Lonhro coming out of the fourth barrier.
In the Canterbury Stakes, last year’s winner Le Romain was ridden by Schofield. Le Romain is not in this year’s field. This looks to be a competitive race. There are only nine runners, but seven of them carry single-digit quotes, led by Clearly Innocent and Hugh Bowman, coming out of the third barrier at $4.80.
Back in Melbourne, the Australian Cup (2000 m) is a chance for the staying types to possibly state their case for inclusion in the Melbourne Cup come spring.
Humidor was the first past the post in 2017, but is not in this year’s field. Twelve will jump, with Gailo Chop on the top line at $3.00, followed by Melbourne Cup winner Almandin at $5.50. Hartnell, The Taj Mahal and Single Gaze are all prominent in the wagering and all have drawn well.
The other big race, the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap, will precede the Australian Cup. Redkirk Warrior is back to defend his 2017 win and will be ridden by Regan Bayliss and will come from as outside as they come, the 15th barrier in the field of 15. Merchant Navy is the favourite at $5.00, but there are four gallopers in single digits and none longer than the $41 quote Lord Of The Sky holds.