2019 Ranvet Stakes Betting Preview
Can Avilius atone for his flop in the Australian Cup at $3.40* in what shapes to be a re-match in NSW with some international flavour?
The rail moves out into the +3m position being in the true last week. Currently rated a heavy 9, the track will likely improve into the soft range come race day with a maximum of 3.4mm of rain predicted between Wednesday and race day. We believe the track will play well with gallopers peeling out to the centre (particularly late in the program) getting the best of it.
Tempo only looks moderate here. The Taj Mahal is your likely leader with international He’s Eminent coming across the shade him. The other international Danzedanzedanze will show speed from his inside draw with Almandin. Ace High will be thereabouts with Egg Tart and Savvy Coup poking up. Tough to sort out from here – Shillelagh will likely be last the fence with Night’s Watch and Nettoyer also going back. Avilius could follow Savvy Coup across and obtain a nice spot relegating Libran and Unforgotten into 3 wide positions on the outside of Auvray (who’s here for a trial) and Sikandarabad.
The Key Runners:
1. Almandin (2) – $26*
J: D. Oliver (59kg) T: L. Howley.
Was in behind the leaders last-start in the Australian Cup and went completely backwards in the straight. Was ordered to get a vet’s certificate after that run which was simply too bad to be true. He comes here second-up (5:2-1-0) with more cut out of the ground (soft 5:1-2-1) – both of these aspects are to his liking as is Damien Oliver sticking. He should kick up from an inside draw behind a speed set by the stablemate and get every chance to find the better ground in the straight. Could be big odds or completely gone, we’re leaning towards the former.
2. Avilius (10) – $3.40*
J: K. McEvoy (59kg) T: J. Cummings.
Started a deserved short-priced favourite last-start after winning traditional lead-ups in the Carlyon and Peter Young. From barrier 1 he got all the gaps ‘tomato sauce punters’ were hoping for but just looked as if his run peaked with 100m to go as he was being hailed the winner. Only possible excuse was that they found an ulcer in his right eye post-race. Is that worth 1.5L? He’s well-performed on soft (ignore the Melbourne Cup run where he was almost put through the fence), looks to receive a better run in transit here and (like many) has a good fitness platform on which to build. Finally getting some backable odds for him to prove himself at Group 1 level.
3. Ace High (15) – $21*
J: D. Dunn (59kg) T: D. Payne.
Probably not a realistic winning chance given how much he resents wet ground. However, his form is better than it reads as he wasn’t fully tested late in the Australian Cup last-start with winner Harlem rolling out on top of him as he was going through his gears – still finished only 1.6L off that winner. If the track somehow turns up a good 3 he’d be right in calculations, otherwise, keep a close eye on him for later in the Autumn.
5. He’s Eminent (11) – $8*
J: J. McDonald (59kg) T: Sir. M. Todd.
Adds massive intrigue to this race. He was a top-line younger middle-distance horse in Europe who interestingly smashed The Taj Mahal by 13.2L as a 2yo. He came up at 3 to start hard in the market in an Epsom Derby and run credibly into 4th behind The Cliffsofmoher and Cracksman. His biggest win to date was in the 2017 Prix Guillaume, thrashing his opposition over 2000m which included Avilius running 5L away in 2nd. That effort saw him start favourite in the Irish Champion Stakes where he tested the likes of Decorated Knight and Poet’s Word who would both be well in the red to win this. Since then, however, he’s completely gone off the boil beating a combined 6 runners home at his last 4 outings with his previous trainer stating that “his heart just isn’t in it anymore”. He’s only starting here to fill in the time prior to starting a stud career in NZ. The money for him $26 into $8 is likely completely superficial – it takes no weight to set those early prices off and he looks priced on potential now. Huge chance of winning if he turns back the clock but we’re happy to risk that.
8. Sikandarabad (7) – $23*
J: M. Zhara (59kg) T: D. & B. Hayes & T. Dabernig.
After winning the Mornington Cup Prelude and running a huge race at odds in the Australian Cup we’re very surprised to see him here as opposed to Mornington for their Cup meeting. That could be in an indication he’s flying at home. Unlikely he’ll derive the improvement necessary to make up the Australian Cup margin but he’ll handle the ground and is one to consider for wider exotics and watch when he drops back in grade.
10. Danzedanzedanze (1) – $8*
J: O. Bosson (57kg) T: C. Gibbs.
The NZ visitor comes here in career best form. She’s 6:3-1-1 this preparation including two absolutely dominant Group 1 wins on rain-affected tracks. Her most recent effort was a 2nd in a high-rating Group 1 NZ Stakes over 2000m behind Melody Belle. She came here last Autumn and struck uncharacteristically good track which saw her place 5th in a Vinery and 6th in the Oaks. Not only has she improved as a horse since then but strikes her preferred going on the weekend. This race has been a target for some time now (as well as the Queen Elizabeth) with top hoop Opie Bosson taking the reins. Barrier 1 is the leveller – she could struggle to find the better ground sitting just behind the speed. But we’re still getting a good price to find out at $8*.
11. Shillelagh (5) – $13*
J: C. Williams (57kg) T: C. Waller.
Relished the step up in distance from the Peter Young to finish a very narrow second in the Australian Cup. She looked all over the winner straightening and actually got her neck in front of Harlem who then fought back. That’s not a good sign. To compound her troubles, she’ll likely end up last the fence from barrier 5 giving her all sorts of work to do late on ground she’s less than adept on. Happy to risk her.
12. Unforgotten (13) – $7.50*
J: H. Bowman (57kg) T: C. Waller.
Improved minorly up in distance last-start placing behind Winx and Happy Clapper in the Chipping Norton. She was afforded a nice run in transit there and chased fairly for most of the straight. Draws right out here (where does she get to?) and goes onto a likely soft surface. She’s only had one start on soft and got cardiac arrhythmia, so the surface is an unknown. Given that she seems priced very conservatively by the bookies.
13. Egg Tart (4) – $13*
J: B. Avdulla (57kg) T: C. Waller.
Another mare who’s tough to get a line on with Winx making everything look second-rate time and time again. Off a very average preparation last time in, she trialled up fairly at best before returning well in the Apollo, running Happy Clapper to within 2L. She then did all the donkey work in carting the field up to said galloper in the Chipping Norton and weakened right out of it. Her saving grace here is a wet track where she grows a leg: 6:4-0-1. Looks like she’ll get a better run than the stablemate with similar form Unforgotten and seems priced generously in comparison. Again the Winx form here – she’s in a different race.