VRC Sprint Classic Runners - Runner-by-Runner guide for the VRC Sprint Classic

  • A high-class field of 14 sprinters will contest the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) 
  • Our full runner-by-runner guide
Redzel (L) wins the 2017 VRC Sprint Classic.

A high-class field of 14 sprinters will tackle Saturday’s Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday, November 10.

Here is our runner-by-runner guide for the VRC Sprint Classic. 

1. REDZEL (8) - Peter & Paul Snowden, Kerrin McEvoy, 58.5kg 
Superstar sprinter Redzel will be aiming to defend his title in another sprinting feature after he won this race last year, beating Terravista and Impending. He is having a very similar preparation to that of 12 months ago, taking out the Concorde Stakes and The Everest before contesting the VRC Spring Classic. Looking back at The Everest, he controlled the race from the front and gave nothing else a chance, as the race never changed complexion. He won’t get things his own way here but is still the horse to beat.
Odds: $5.00 (Beteasy

2. BRAVE SMASH (10) - Darren Weir, Craig Williams, 58.5kg 
The Darren Weir-trained Brave Smash took out the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) last start, courtesy of a terrific ride from Hugh Bowman. He settled closer to the speed and ran down the gallant Spirit Of Valour. The blinkers went on for the first time and that really sharpened him up. He has had one start down the Flemington straight for a terrific second, beaten a nose in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) behind Redkirk Warrior, beating home Merchant Navy. I like barrier 10 for him and $13 could be overs.
Odds: $14.00 (Sportsbet)

3. SANTA ANA LANE (5) - Anthony Freedman, Mark Zahra, 58.5kg 
The three-time Group 1 winner hasn’t started shorter than $9 in any of his last 11 starts, including those three Group 1 victories. He has the class, defeating Shoals, In Her Time, Trapeze Artist and Redzel in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) two starts ago. His Flemington straight track form is horrible, with a last start fifth behind Lake Como and Rough Justice in a Handicap race. Either side of that run he was competitive with Vega Magic. I’ll be risking him. 
Odds: $9.50 (Ladbrokes)

4. REDKIRK WARRIOR (11) - David & B Hayes & T Dabernig, Regan Bayliss, 58.5kg 
The straight track specialist is back after his trip to England. His Flemington form is elite. He has had five starts down the Flemington straight for four wins, three of those at Group One level. The obvious question is, has he come back the same horse? If he has, then he is drawn in the right part of the track and is right in the race. $12 is a very fair price to find out. 
Odds: $12.00 (Sportsbet)

5. JUNGLE CAT (2) - Charlie Appleby, William Buick, 58.5kg 
The Blue Army is flying and trainer Charlie Appleby will be riding high after winning the Melbourne Cup with Cross Counter on Tuesday. Jungle Cat won the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke (1400m) before finding the Toorak Handicap (1600m) too far last start. Appleby has freshened him up and drops back to the 1200m. He has had 18 starts over the distance for six wins and seven placings, the most recent of which was victory in the Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) in Dubai. He is obviously untried down the Flemington straight but should run well. 
Odds: $11.00 (Sportsbet)

6. PIERATA (3) - Gregory Hickman, Tommy Berry, 58.5kg 
The Greg Hickman-trained Pierata announced himself as an elite sprinter last start, defeating Jungle Edge in the Group 3 Sydney Stakes (1200m). He ran (1:10.82) which was over a full second faster than Redzel who won The Everest (1:12.03) on the same day. He did beat Kementari first-up in the Missile Stakes (1200m). He is an obvious winning chance but will need a good ride from Tommy Berry from barrier three.
Odds: $5.50 (Bet365

7. KEMENTARI (9) - James Cummings, Glyn Schofield, 58.5kg 
The four-year-old Lonhro colt remains winless this preparation despite running extremely well.  James Cummings wants to get a 1200m Group One under his belt and he gets another opportunity on Saturday. He got too far back last start in the Manikato Stakes against the pattern and was huge, running the fastest last 200m,400m,600m and 800m of the race.  He has failed in his one start down the Flemington straight, finishing 16th in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) behind Merchant Navy. 
Odds: $7.00 (Beteasy)

8. SPIRIT OF VALOR (12) - Aidan O’Brien, Wayne Lordan, 58.5kg
Aiden O’Brien brought four ‘sprinters’ out to Australia and the word was US Navy Flag was his best. Cleary the best performed has been Spirit Of Valor. The five-year-old rocketed home first-up in the Schillaci Stakes (1100m) behind Ball Of Muscle 11.20s his last 200m which was the quickest of the meeting. He was planted three-wide the trip in the Manikato and still almost beat Brave Smash who had the perfect trail. He draws barrier 12 which looks ideal. This is obviously his first look down the Flemington straight and Wayne Lordan on board is another concern for me.
Odds: $10.00 (Beteasy)
 
9. INTELLIGENCE CROSS (4) - Aidan O’Brien, Damian Lane, 58.5kg
He has only beaten one runner home in his two starts in Australia and has missed the start badly on both occasions. Not here. 
Odds: $151.00 (Sportsbet)

10. US NAVY FLAG (13) - Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore, 58kg 
He had support last start in the Manikato Stakes ($10 into $6.50) but had no luck at all. He was held-up behind the tiring Malaguerra and nothing went right for him, as he ran last. His two runs in Australia were both forgive runs but you still have to take him on trust. He doesn’t handle wet tracks so if Flemington is in the soft range on Saturday, you can put a pen through him. 
Odds: $12.00 (Unibet)

11. FLEET REVIEW (6) - Aidan O’Brien, James McDonald, 58kg 
Aidan O’Brien and James McDonald are an elite combination but he does look outclassed based on his two Australian runs. He was wide the trip in the Manikato Stakes (1200m) but dropped out badly in the straight. A win would surprise. 
Odds: $51.00 (Beteasy)

12. IN HER TIME (7) - Kris Lees, Corey Brown, 56.5kg 
The six-year-old Time Thief mare is a model of consistency. She looked home two starts ago in the Premiere Stakes (1200m) and was nabbed by the Anthony Freedman pair right on the line. She still beat home both Trapeze Artist and Redzel. She didn’t look to get through the heavy ground last start in The Everest and I’m willing to forgive that effort. I know she beat English and Viridine in the Group 1 Galaxy (1200m) but I still have a query with her in an elite Group 1 field over six-furlongs. 
Odds: $12.00 (Ladbrokes)

13. SPRIGHT (14) - Garry Frazer, Damien Oliver, 56.5kg 
Garry Frazer has his five-year-old mare in career best. She charged to the line with Kementari last start in the Manikato Stakes. The start prior she wasn’t far off Viddora and Brave Smash in the Moir Stakes (1000m). Her one and only run down the Flemington straight was in the last race on Oaks Day in 2016. She came from the rear of the field and charged through the pack for an impressive victory. She draws perfectly in barrier 14 with D.Oliver on and is a terrific roughie. I the inside part of the track chops out, I expect her to start $18. 
Odds: $41.00 (Bet365)

14. INVINCIBLE STAR (1) - Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, Stephen Baster, 56.5kg
I’m of the opinion that Invincible Star is overhyped. Her run in the Manikato Stakes was sound but there was an on-pace bias on the night. She did almost beat Merchant Navy in her one run down the Flemington straight.  I can’t see the inside being the place to be late on Saturday, I don’t like the speed map for her and she’s one of the first horses I put the pen through.
Odds: $26.00 (Beteasy

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VRC Sprint Classic Runners - Runner-by-Runner guide for the VRC Sprint Classic

A high-class field of 14 sprinters will tackle Saturday’s Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday, November 10.

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