While much of the hype in the racing world this week has been about the prestigious Doncaster Mile, there is other quality elite level racing at Randwick on Saturday and at the top of that list is the 2012 Galaxy.
Run over 1100 metres, the $350,000 feature event will see a full field of 14 horses line up to have a crack at Group 1 glory.
The current favourite for the event is highly rated Victorian gelding Bel Sprinter ($5.00 – bookmaker.com.au) but he is closely followed by Gai Waterhouse three-year-old Nobby Snip who will be out to continue his run of form after winning his past three hit-outs.
Fellow three-year-old Hot Snitzel will be racing against older horses for the first time while last year’s runner-up Thankgodyou’rehere returns to try and go one better in 2012.
With the track currently rated as heavy and a best of slow predicted, horses with wet track credentials come into contention including Queensland gelding Temple Of Boom, John O’Shea-trained Elite Falls and Joseph Pride mare Ladys Angel.
Plenty of horses are coming into the race with last-start victories including Sebring Stakes winner Zaratone, the in-form Nobby Snip, Sue Grills gelding Border Rebel and Maurice McCarten Stakes winner Title.
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Try as we might, it is impossible to look past second favourite Nobby Snip who brings with him excellent form, particularly in wet conditions.
The three-year-old has won his last three starts, dominating with a six-and-a-half-length victory at Canterbury first-up before winning the Fireball Quality and the Eskimo Prince.
The Fireball victory came on a heavy (9) track while the Eskimo Prince was won in slow conditions ahead of the highly rated Niagara.
Trained by Gai Waterhouse, the only question over Nobby Snip is whether the Group 1 start has come too soon but with plenty of big names missing he should have the talent to cross the line in front.
We are taking a bit of a punt on the track here but we are leaving favourite Bel Sprinter out of our selections.
It’s not that the talented gelding has run poorly in the wet before, it’s that she hasn’t run at all and that is why we are taking Elite Falls and Thankgodyou’rehere to fill out the placings.
Elite Falls will be ridden by experienced jockey Jim Cassidy and he was very confident earlier this week of the Oakleigh Plate runner-up’s chances if the track is damp.
Thankgodyou’rehere ran well to finish second in similar conditions last year and he will be running first up, something he has done successfully in the past.
The six-year-old gelding has won twice and finished second on another two occasions from five first-up efforts and we are predicting that trend will continue on what is a familiar Randwick surface.
Putting a lot of faith in a wet track with our rough selection but Ladys Angel has absolutely killed in the wet and if she gets a track to her suiting she could produce an upset.
From five starts on heavy tracks, the Joseph Pride-trained five-year-old has won three times and finished runner-up twice and comes into the race in reasonable form.
After running 11th in the Coolmore Classic, the Arena mare appreciated a drop back to 1200 metres when running third in the Sapphire Stakes and should again enjoy the short trip.