The Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes is on the Saturday at Royal Randwick and we've ranked the top five contenders.
It's a good Group 1 race for 3YOs run over 2000m. This year it's worth $500,000.
The field of 11 is almost a carbon copy of the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes of two weeks back - with star filly YANKEE ROSE thrown in just to spice up the mix.
Here are my top 5 chances in saddlecloth order.
Should be at his absolute peak for this. It's his Grand Final and on the strength of his luckless 3rd (after a protest) in the Gloaming, over 1800m, he appeals as the one to beat here. Ridden by Blake Shinn that day, he was not afforded a clear crack at them at any stage. Not one of Blake's best rides. He should have won the Gloaming. Glyn Schofield, who just stays out of trouble in big races and gets his runners to charge home late, has the ride this time. I'm on him.
2. VELADERO ($12 bet365)
Is the forgotten horse - yet strangely shouldn't be. He's won three in a row including the Gloaming where he went to the lead early and simply defied them all with a display of pure guts down the running. Is very fit, has drawn to be the leader again and only concern really is will he last the 2000? Looks hard to beat.
6. RETALIATION ($21 bet365)
If he had drawn in much closer to the rails, this is the horse I would have been on. He went very early in the Gloaming, taking off 4-wide with 650m to travel. Circled the field and was 2nd for home. Copped a gut-busting bump at the 300m yet still stretched his neck out to the line. Ran 4th (3rd past post) and the run will have topped him off perfectly for this. If he settles rearward and sweeps home late, is a major player.
7. TUMULTUOUS ($26 bet365)
Very unlucky in the Gloaming when 5th. Couldn't get a clear crack them down the running in what was a rough house affair. If he had seen daylight, he may have won the race. Drawn to get a dream run here and could be a big player in this at good odds.
11. YANKEE ROSE ($2.60 CrownBet)
Brilliant filly who should have won the Gr 1 Flight Stakes last week. They let the leader run with cheap sectionals, and the leader hugged the fence around home turn while this filly was back 4 lengths off her and then added to her dramas by being 5-wide on the home bend. Maths kicked in at that point and she simply couldn't make up the leaway...although she tried really hard being beaten half a length on the line. Looks capable of staying this trip and will be solid late.
PREDICTION: 1. PRIZED ICON ($4.20 William Hill), 2. Retaliation, 3. Yankee Rose