One of the key support races to the Ipswich Cup this Saturday is the Listed $100,000 2012 Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m),
Restricted to fillies and mares, a full field of 16 sprinters will line up to contest the event and current favourite is in-form mare Andromache ($3.50) who is chasing a fifth consecutive victory.
Next best in the market is Gai’s Choice ($4.20), who has also been in excellent form but will have to overcome a wide draw after receiving barrier 19.
Peter Snowden-trained mare Mascareri will carry topweight of 59kg and is paying $10.00 to record her second victory of the winter carnival after winning the Silk Stocking on the Gold Coast last month.
Also at the top end of the betting market are Group level winner Sophie’s Spirit ($8.00) and Robert Heathcote-trained Hidden Kisses ($9.00).
There is no doubt the Gai Waterhouse Classic is a very open race but the Races.com.au team have been hard at work to deliver our very best expert tips.
#1 Mascareri ($10.00)
ThisPeter Snowden-trained mare broke out of her 12 month winless streak last start and that could be all she needs to get back on track.
The daughter of Commands was impressive when taking out the Listed Silk Stocking on the Gold Coast and faces many of the rivals she finished in front of again this weekend.
Experienced jockey Damian Browne will assume the ride on the five-year-old who has received the plum barrier six position.
#11 Andromache ($3.50) and #2 Sophie’s Spirit ($8.00)
New Zealand-bred mare Andromache has been absolutely flying of late and should be able to handle the step up in her first Listed level race this weekend.
The four-year-old arrived in Australia earlier this year on the back of a victory in Pukekohe and has since recorded three straight victories in Victoria.
She has drawn well in barrier four to continue her run of form and will be ridden by in-form jockey Jeff Lloyd.
Sophie’s Spirit struggled last start on a heavy Eagle Farm track but the surface should be dry tomorrow and two starts back she finished runner-up to classy mare Wealth Princess in the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes.
The Max Hinton-trained mare is a Group level winner and if she produces near her best will be near the front of the field at the business end of the race.
#3 Montana Flyer ($81.00)
It’s been a long time between wins for this Grafton-based mare who last crossed the line in front in February last year.
But there is no denying that if the Terry Commerford-trained six-year-old produces somewhere near her best she comes into contention as she has won three times at Group level and ran fourth in last year’s Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara.
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