This Saturday the best racing action will be found at Randwick when the 2010 Epsom Handicap highlights a bumper Sydney Spring Carnival meeting.
The $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) has attracted a capacity final field of gallopers, with 20 horses set to contest the feature mile event.
Betting on the Epsom Handicap has been opened right up after early favourite Rothesay was ruled out earlier in the week and Peter Snowden chose not to accept Bill Ritchie Handicap winner Drumbeats.
Taking over as the ante-post favourite to win the Epsom, Drumbeats was never a certain starter and will target the Group 1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield Saturday week instead.
Likely to now start at the top of the odds for Saturday’s showdown is the Joseph Pride-trained Neeson, the Mossman gelding drawn well in barrier four and set to carry just 52kg with Peter Robl aboard.
The biggest mover in the Epsom Handicap odds has been John Thompson’s George Main Stakes runner-up Trusting.
Firming dramatically in the markets, four-year-old Trusting is drawn in barrier nine and will be ridden by Jim Cassidy.
The Epsom Handicap topweight with a hefty 59kg is the Chris Waller-trained Danleigh, the highly rated seven-year-old due to jump from barrier 10 with Hugh Bowman in the mount.
Con Karakatsanis’ Black Piranha is the next heaviest weighted contender with 58.5kg, the seven-year-old tipped to return to form after a flat fifth place finish in the George Main Stakes last week.
Black Piranha has drawn ideally in barrier two making him a top chance.
Another well drawn contender with claims in the Epsom is Gai Waterhouse’s Once Were Wild in gate five.
The consistent four-year-old Johannesburg mare had a poor run last start in the Shannon Stakes but the AJC Oaks winner should improve here.
Waterhouse will also be represented by Cannonball, one of the best backed runners by the punters over the past day despite their wide barrier 14 draw.
Meanwhile David Payne’s Centennial Park is also likely to have money come in for them after securing barrier one for Saturday.
Randwick’s Epsom Handicap Day features an elite line up of Group races with other highlights including the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) where No Wine No Song and Herculian Prince will face off, the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) featuring a field of star fillies including More Strawberries and Parables.
To get the best price on all the Randwick races this Saturday make sure you take a few minutes to open an account with Ladbrokes.com.au, who will reward you with a free $300 bet straight away!
2010 Epsom Handicap Final Field, Barrier Draw & Weights
|#||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|1||DANLEIGH||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||10||59||117|
|2||BLACK PIRANHA||Con Karakatsanis||Nash Rawiller||2||58.5||116|
|3||DOUBTFUL JACK||Peter G Moody||–||11||54||107|
|4||ONCE WERE WILD||Gai Waterhouse||Corey Brown||5||52.5||108|
|5||TRUSTING||John P Thompson||Jim Cassidy||9||52||104|
|6||DEALER PRINCIPAL||Anthony Cummings||Brenton Avdulla (a)||6||52||103|
|7||CANNONBALL (USA)||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Spriggs (a)||14||52||102|
|8||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||Christian Reith||1||52||102|
|9||NEESON||Joseph Pride||Peter Robl||4||52||102|
|10||SACRED CHOICE||Joseph Pride||–||15||52||99|
|11||LEICA LARRIKIN||Richard Freyer||Mathew Cahill||7||52||98|
|12||CAPTAIN SONADOR||Roger Milne||Glen Boss||8||52||97|
|13||FIREBOLT (NZ)||Roger James||Glyn Schofield||21||52||97|
|14||PRINCE BRAEMAN||Paul Perry||Nathan Berry (a)||19||52||97|
|15||SNAPY HALO (ARG)||John O’Shea||Tim Clark||16||52||97|
|16||SAINTHOOD||Rick Worthington||Rod Quinn||17||52||96|
|17||RETURNTOSENDER||Peter G Moody||–||12||52||94|
|18||BAY WINDOW||Gwenda Markwell||Craig Newitt||20||52||93|
|19||KEEPIN’ THE DREAM (NZ)||Jim & Greg Lee||Daniel Ganderton||18||52||92|
|20||HIDDEN WONDER||Kris Lees||Jay Ford||3||52||91|