The first black-type feature on the Warwick Farm race card this Saturday is the $125,000 Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1100m), betting on the Chelmsford Stakes Day feature lead by the David Payne-trained Winter King and Clarry Conners‘ improving four-year-old Decision Time.
The 2011 Concorde Stakes, set to run as Warwick Farm Race 4 at 1:50pm tomorrow, drew a final field of 10 gallopers.
There are nine left in contention after David Payne withdrew #10 Master Of Design from the field.
Payne, however, still has a strong chance to take out the Concorde Stakes 2011 with his Once Cool Cat five-year-old Winter King installed as the race favourite.
Drawn on the rails and due to be ridden by talented hoop Jim Cassidy, if Cassidy can recover from a hand injury, Winter King is a market firmer in the Concorde Stakes odds at Luxbet in from $3.70 to $3.20.
The gelding has been the picture of consistency over their two most recent preparations.
In the autumn – winter of 2010 Winter King won the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) before running two lengths away second to former champion juvenile Reward For Effort in last year’s Concorde Stakes.
They also went on next start to come within one and a quarter lengths of Australia’s fastest horse, superstar Black Caviar, in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m).
Finishing in the placings for three of their five starts last season, Winter King resumed on August six with an excellent second, beaten by a short half-head in the final stride by Rain Affair in the Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
They come into the Concorde Stakes this year on the back of a neck away second to Skytrain in the Listed Show County Quality (1200m) at the Warwick Farm track on August 20.
That was a tough run and they did well to finish a narrow second after giving away the lead, and connections are tipping Winter King to be back to their best over the 1100 metres, a distance they have four times own over, and back in the winner’s stall for the first time since their Starlight Stakes success 12 months ago.
“It’s just been a bob of the head,” Payne said of Winter King’s recent finishes.
“He is a very honest horse.
“I think he’s more mature now and he’s getting a bit further in his races.
“He has drawn well and it’s a small field which will suit him.”
Jockey Cassidy is also predicting a strong showing from Winter King, who he is tipping as hard to beat at the track and distance from that gate.
“He is back at Warwick Farm, he has performed well there and form the one alley I’ll make sure he gets all the favours,” Cassidy said.
Following closely behind Winter King in the Concorde Stakes betting at Luxbet is firming $4.80 – $4.00 second-elect Decision Time.
Also drawn favourably in gate three, Conners’ Foreplay four-year-old boasts an ultra-consistent record of seven wins and three minor placings form their 12 career starts to date.
They took out their four opening career starts back in the summer of 2010, including the Listed Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra, before finishing second in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m).
Decision Time then came within half a length when runner up to Crystal Lilly in last year’s Golden Slipper as a two-year-old.
Given five starts as a three-year-old last year, Decision Time was never far away and managed back-to-back stakes wins including their Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1400m).
After a lengthy spell they ran at Rosehill this February to win an 1100 metre stakes sprint carting a hefty 60.5kg to victory.
They were then sidelined again, and after nearly six months away from the action, Decision Time is ready to resume this weekend.
Other notable Concorde Stakes hopefuls this year include Peter Snowden’s dual Group winning Lonhro mare Obsequious ($5), the fellow Snowden-trained stakes winning mare Soul ($8) and Nic Olive’s Canberra raider Zaratone ($9).
Zariz six-year-old Zaratone enjoyed an eye-catching first-up win in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 13, a strong win in which they won pulling away on the straight after overcoming a wide barrier 11 draw.
In the Concorde, Zaratone jumps from barrier seven with Kathy O’Hara in the mount, a far more ideal starting position than for the Starlight making them a nice longer-chance in the odds.
See below for the 2011 Concorde Stakes field and barriers then head to Luxbet to lock in your selections at the best odds in the country.
2011 Concorde Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rtg.|
|1||2X35411X1X||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||Corey Brown||3||58kg||105|
|2||2X39324X22||WINTER KING (NZ)||David Payne||Jim Cassidy||1||56kg||101|
|3||13651X1033||MOTSPUR||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||2||55.5kg||100|
|4||X00X18860X||MONTON||Ron Quinton||Glyn Schofield||4||54kg||97|
|5||0X011175X1||ZARATONE||Nick Olive||Ms Kathy O’Hara||7||54kg||97|
|6||3X5X77420X||EGO’S DARE||Gerald Ryan||Nathan Berry||10||53.5kg||96|
|7||122136X4||SOUL||Peter Snowden||Christian Reith||8||53.5kg||96|
|8||1827X1296X||OBSEQUIOUS||Peter Snowden||Tommy Berry||5||53kg||96|
|9||50X940370X||PRINCE BRAEMAN||Paul Perry||Paul Hammersley||6||53kg||89|
|10||183X0X1X19||MASTER OF DESIGN||David Payne||Michael Walker||9||53kg||86|