With the deluge of water falling on the Sydney tracks over the past few days, Warwick Farm Racecourse has gone to a Heavy (10) rating and the savvy punters are getting behind known mudlark Sacred Choice to score an upset wet weather win in the 2012 Chipping Norton Stakes on Saturday.
Joe Pride’s six-year-old Choisir mare Sacred Choice could be found at odds as long as $17 earlier in the week to win her third-up assignment in the $350,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
Seemingly racing below her best this season with a first-up seventh in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 11 followed by a last-start 10th when beaten 10 lengths in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), the Chipping Norton Stakes odds on Sacred Choice seemed fair.
There has been a huge betting plunge on the $2.14 million earner, however, and at our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au Sacred Choice is now at $6.50.
The mare may not have seen the inside of a winner’s stall since her Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) win at Randwick last April, but that was on a Heavy (10) Sydney track and she did it with ease putting two lengths on Love Conquers All.
Sacred Choice also ran a brave second behind My Kingdom Of Fife at her very next start in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) which was also run on a bog Randwick track.
From her six starts on Heavy ground, in fact, Sacred Choice has only finished out of the top four once when first-up at Warwick Farm last August.
She never had a brilliant first-up record, however, and her other Heavy runs are worth noting especially her four and a half length triumph over former Australian Horse of The Year Typhoon Tracy in the 2010 Myer Classic.
One person that believes on a Heavy track Sacred Choice will be hard to beat this weekend is jockey Jay Ford.
Ford has ridden her four times to date but is yet to win on her, something he hopes to change on Saturday.
“I’m quite happy it is wet, I’m just hoping it’s not too wet that we don’t race,” Ford said.
“Sacred Choice is third-up, she is up to the mile and she gets a wet track so there’s a lot to like about the race for her on Saturday.
“Her form on heavy tracks is fantastic.
“I’ve only ridden her sparingly over the years but never in races where she has been a really good winning chance.
“I’ve always ridden her first-up or early in her preparation.
“Saturday is the first time I’ll hop on her back and get to the races thinking she’s in with a good shot.”
Pinker Pinker remains the clear Chipping Norton Stakes favourite at a bookmaker.com.au quote of $2.75.
Greg Eurell’s Cox Plate winning mare may have a few historical facts and hoodoos going against her on Saturday, but she does have the wet track form having run a good third in the Group 1 AJC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick in April last year, which was her last run on a wet track.
She also boasts a Group 3 win and two Group seconds from her five attempts over the mile.
Other notable chances in the 2012 Chipping Norton Stakes odds include former AJC Derby winner Shoot Out ($3.30 bookmaker.com.au), defending champ Danleigh ($5.50 bookmaker.com.au) and Trusting ($6.50 bookmaker.com.au) who is the only horse left in contention that has not won at elite level.
Head to bookmaker.com.au now to back your Chipping Norton Stakes selections, or stick around at Races.com.au to view our insider Warwick Farm tips to be published shortly.
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