In a race devoid of speed by Group 1 standards, this could become a 400m sprint home – as these straight races can be. Thronum from 7 and Lord of the Sky will both be market urgent from 7 and 1 respectively. Booker will tail them from 3 with Rock Magic from 6. Brave Smash (2), Ken’s Dream (8) and Redkirk Warrior (15) are the only other gallopers with early speed, the rest will be back. With the rail out 4m, expecting they’ll stay away from the rails and giving an advantage to those drawn out.
The Key Runners:
1. Redkirk Warrior – R.Bayliss (57.5kg) (Barrier 15): $7: Profiles excellently for this race; 3 wins from 5 second-up, 3 from 4 at the track (all group class) with 2 from 3 at the track/distance. Included in these statistics is his emphatic last-start victory over Redzel in the G1 Lightning down the straight. Only possible knock is meeting a few worse at the weights but he still drops 1kg. The race shape couldn’t be better for him, he’ll get use of the A-ground and if it’s left to a 400m sprint home, rattling off a final 200m of 10.56s as he did last start will take him a long way. Blinkers stay on, top pick.
2. Brave Smash – C.Williams (52.5kg) (Barrier 2): $7.50: Have concerns about where he’ll get to from barrier 2 and whether that’ll be the best ground by race 6. He’s also having his first crack at straight racing and dropping back 200m fourth-up, key negatives. His biggest positive is the way he flew through a gap late last start to win the G1 Futurity last start. Has the speed to be in the finish but this seems a set-up run for something later, Doncaster?
4. Rich Charm – P.Maloney (52.5kg) (Barrier 5): $7.50: This would be a fairy tale story for trainer Udyta Clarke if this gelding was to win a G1. And it could well come true. He boasts 2 wins from two attempts at the track and distance, including one at Group 2 level during the Flemington carnival. Almost a certainty beaten last start when he was held-up at a vital stage. He can only improve second-up and you know he’ll be trained to the minute. The map looks slightly tricky, but he has the late speed to give this a shake with only 52.5kg. Great value chance.
6. Supido – B.Mertens (52.5kg) (Barrier 14): $13: Presents excellent value here after hitting the line strongly in the Lightning when finding the 1000m too sharp. Another who boasts some quality statistics for this; 5:2-0-1 second-up, 4 wins from 6 at the track and 1 from 1 track and distance. Jumping from barrier 14 will allow him to find the A-ground and open air when needed. Meets Redkirk Warrior 5kg better off here, an absolute must for exotic players.
11. Merchant Navy – C.Schofield (52kg) (Barrier 4): $5F: One of only 3, 3 YO’s in the race and the only Colt. His major claim here is winning the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes over the track and distance at the end of the last prep. That win came in stunning fashion as he burst up along the inside late, running strong time. He may need to repeat that here form barrier 4, but C.Schofield is known for taking small gaps. Looked great first-up in open class and ran a solid race for third behind Super Cash and Flamberg, that does look the B-form however. Risking for the win but couldn’t leave out of exotics at $5.
Both Redkirk Warrior and Rich Charm present excellent value at 7/7.50 respectively. Suggesting 40% of the race bank on both Redkirk Warrior and Rich Charm with the remaining 20% on Supido.