The first at Royal Randwick Guineas Day this Saturday is set to be a beauty with the bookies having a hard time separating the top half of the field for the 2012 Aspiration Quality.
Kicking off the Randwick racing action at 1:00pm, the $100,000 Listed Happy St Patrick’s Day Aspiration Quality (1600m) field features 17 smart fillies and mares, five of which are at single-figure odds in the early markets to win.
Two mares currently share favouritism in the Aspiration Quality odds with Brightest and Crafty Irna both at a quote of $6.50, expected to open at a similar if not better price at bookmaker.com.au shortly.
The Guy Walter-trained Brightest has drawn barrier 12 giving jockey Rod Quinn a bit of work to do, but the Galileo four-year-old did well in open company on a Heavy (9) track last start when running second to Mr Make Believe over 1500-metres at Rosehill on March 3 from barrier 10 (of 13).
Crafty Irna has also drawn wide one further in gate 13 with Hugh Bowman to ride, Ron Quinton’s improving Starcraft mare racing second-up for the year after a first-up second to Red Tracer in the Group 3 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m).
The other single-figure chances in the 2012 Aspiration Quality betting markets are then:
- #4 Cabernet ($7.50) – Grahame Begg’s Al Maher five-year-old coming off a fourth to Steps In Time in the Listed Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm last Saturday, on a short back-up but a good drw in barrier five and a nice jockey on her back in Michael Rodd
- #5 Fibrillation ($8) – The biggest market mover so far having been backed in from as long as $12 at some bookies, Tim Martin’s grey four-year-old will relish coming back to the mile after she was run off her feet over 2095m last start
- #11 Upon This Rock ($8.50) – Gai Waterhouse-trained daughter of Fastnet Rock hasn’t raced in stakes company since her dead last finish at her third start back in 2010 at the Gold Coast, has improved since but yet to be really tested
Punters looking for more value may look towards the likes of Gai Waterhouse’s well-tried 2012 Sydney Cup-bound Older Than Time ($11) who carries the 59kg topweight, while fellow Sydney Cup nominee Galizani has drifted out from around $15 to the $20 mark for her run on Saturday.
The country’s best paying online bookie bookmaker.com.au will have their markets for all of the Royal Randwick Guineas Day races open shortly.