The rail will stay true for the entire circuit for both Friday night’s Mantikato stakes meeting and Saturday’s Cox Plate. Rail true at the Valley commonly gives every runner their chance given they handle the unique geometry of the circuit.
With 10mm of rain falling on the track and some irrigation during the week, expecting a good 3-4 for both meetings. The inside 2 lanes preferable for Friday night with the track evening up over Saturday.
Interesting little map with a few possibilities for the lead. These include Galio Chop, Kaspersky and Folkswood. Could be a gap back to the rest of the field. The next pair look to be Happy Clapper drawn the outside barrier and Hardham driving up from 3.
Seaburge the rail with Winx on its outside look to be the next pair with Royal Symphony and Humidor bringing in the rear. Although Humidor could have the option to pull himself forward in the early stages giving Winx a trail more forward.
Forecasting a truly run affair.
Happy Clapper: $23
Been a stellar preparation for the Teofilo gelding, highlighted by a brilliant win in the G1 Epsom Handicap over 1600m. Prior to that start Winx really had to dig in to get past him in the G1 George Main stakes (1600m). However, he was sent out as a very well backed $1.50 shot in the Cravern Plate over 200m last start and failed to get the cash. Jockey Blake Shinn came under criticism for his ride after settling well back them attempting to loop the field on a rails biased track. He retorted by saying the gelding was ridden to get the trip, which is surely a huge query going into what should be a truly run 2040m G1 journey.
In an open race to be the bridesmaid, he’s one I’m taking a set against due to the distance query.
Galio Chop: $19
Has come on leaps and bounds since his break through win in Adelaide. His record at the trip is impeccable 9:6-0-0, with two of those wins coming in G1 company. The import has an ideal platform to fire here, coming off a gutsy win in the G1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), holding off last week’s Cualfield Cup favourite Johannes Vermeer who acquitted himself well. Hard fit and maps very well.
Looks a solid bet to run second or third.
Interesting runner on the back-up from last weekend’s Caulfield Cup where he placed 5th. He has become a bit of an enigma in recent times, performing below expectation in the Turnbull (2000m) after a stunning 3.25L romp in the Makybe Diva. His run in the Caulfield cup was sound enough to suggest a showing back to the 2040m, but he was pulling fiercely for most of the 2400m trip. Blinkers finally being applied is a big plus.
Would suggest for wider exotics, 4th or 3rd at best.
Second up in Australia here after racing fiercely to lead in the G1 Toorak Handcaip over 1600m and going backward prior to the turn to drop out 8L last. He does possess some strong form over 1600m overseas, highlighted by solid runs in both the G1 Summer Mile and G1 Queen Anne stakes at Royal Ascot. Last win was over 14 months ago, negative jockey change and I’m doubtful he’ll see out a strong 2040m up on the speed.
Putting a pen through.
Charlie Appleby trained galloper coming off a dominant win in the Cranbourne Cup (2025m) first-up in Australia. McEvoy put on a clinic last start and he reeled off the fasted last 600, 400 and 200m splits without being fully tested. Maps very nicely here and has the capacity to run out a strong 2040m journey. Though he was first-up for some 134 days last time in, his second-up record reads 3:2-0-0, including a 2L win in Dubai.
Top pick to be bridesmaid, including in all exotics.
$101 is probably unders. Hasn’t won past 1400m and was beaten a whopping 20.75L by Humidor in the Makybe Diva two back. Although he did improve significantly in the Toorak, running 5th by 2.3L, perhaps enjoying the hectic tempo over 1600m.
Putting the pen through.
Another that is hard to make a case for in this grade. Biggest pluses are his distance track and credentials. He’s won the G2 Alister Clark at this track/trip, ran third in the G1 ATC Derby over 2400m last prep and ran soundly (given his odds) in the Caulfield Cup last time out.
Probably over the odds at $1.16. Not much anyone can say about this wonder mare that hasn’t already been said. She’s already etched her name into history and only looks to further push her case for the best we’ve ever seen when she romps in this weekend. Sit back and enjoy.
Anchor in all exotics.
Royal Symphony: $17
Adds plenty of intrigue to this year’s Cox Plate. Comes into the race after a very unlucky run in the Caulfield Guineas, very easy to make a case saying he should’ve won having been significantly interfered with around the turn and into the straight. Prior to that he had his first taste of defeat in a race where the pattern was hard against. The map and the track are genuine queries here, but I do see the Denman Colt running the 2040m out.
Will be going in the exotics.