Gai Waterhouse’s in-form five-year-old Western Symbol has opened at the top of the markets to win their third straight race in the 2012 Japan Racing Association Plate at Royal Randwick on Doncaster Mile Day this Saturday.
Despite coming up against some classy types on Saturday the High Chaparral gelding is the best supported to take out the $100,000 Listed JRA Plate (2000m) which runs as Randwick Race 6 at 2:55pm.
Drawn in barrier 11 with Tommy Berry to ride they will come in a few gates if the last three emergencies fail to gain a start.
The first two spares have already earned a start with Zara Dancer (gate two) and Adroitly (12) getting into the starting 14 with the early scratchings of #3 Extra Zero and #12 Happy Trails.
Happy Trails has earned a shot at the big time in Saturday’s marquee event, the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) after its field also had a number of early withdrawals with the Hong Kong-bound King’s Rose, Rekindled Interest who won’t handle the wet and the injured Single.
At our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au Western Symbol, who is well weighted with 54.5kg, sits top of the JRA Plate odds at a quote of $4.
They are undefeated this prep having won over 1500-metres at Hawkesbury carrying 60kg first-up before Berry guided then to a nice win over Southern Skye in the Group 3 HKJC Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day.
Western Symbol is also likely to handle the Heavy-rated Randwick track as they have won both their starts on Slow going and ran a good second on a Heavy (8) at Warwick Farm during the spring.
The next best fancied in the JRA Plate betting markets is then the defending champ Hawk Island who has drawn barrier one with Glyn Schofield to ride.
Paying $6.50 to go back-to-back in the Doncaster Day clash and 2012 Sydney Cup lead-up, Chris Waller’s gallant galloper and known wet-tracker may be the 59kg topweight of the but the bookies believe they can overcome the weight and the weather to be competitive again.
While they will have to get away from the fence where it will be choppy going, and give plenty of weight to some class types they boast one of the best Heavy track records having won six of their 11 attempts in the mud.
The only other single-figure chance is then the Tim Martin-trained Diatribe mare Fibrillation paying $7.
A known mudlark Fibrillation is also unbeaten this season like Western Symbol having won her opening two.
First-up she took out the Listed Aspiration Quality (1600m) on a Slow (7) Randwick track then last start she won the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill on March 31.
While the track, distance and conditions all look to suit her on Saturday Martin has indicated that he could save Fibrillation for the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1600m) against the fillies and mares Saturday week on Sydney Cup Day.
“The track will still be soft and I think the extra week, back to the mile, will really suit Fibrillation,” he said.
Other longer priced hopefuls that could prove good value include the Jim Conlan-trained Larry’s Never Late ($12), Gai Waterhouse’s Group 1 winner Herculian Prince ($13), the Chris Waller-trained mare Vintedge ($13), and up-and-coming Octagonal four-year-old Adroitly into $12 since gaining a start and firming.
See below for the full 2012 JRA Plate odds courtesy of bookmaker.com.au and stay tuned for our insider tips to be published shortly.
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2012 JRA Plate Odds
Royal Randwick Race 6 – 2:55pm – 21/04/2012
|4||LARRY’S NEVER LATE||12.00|
|7||DANCER WITH HER||12.00|
*Fixed Win Odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change