A crack line-up of Group races are scheduled to light up Royal Randwick for George Main Stakes Day, the latest Group 1 meeting of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, one of the last on the card being the 2012 Hill Stakes.
Running as Randwick Race 7 at 4:40pm on Saturday, the $200,000 Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) is shaping up as a telling showdown by a number of genuine gallopers heading towards the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) back at the track on Epsom Handicap Day, October 6.
Red hot favourite for the Hill Stakes is the David Vandyke-trained Lamasery who is also the $10 second pick in The Metropolitan odds trailing only Newcastle Gold Cup winner Glencadam Gold ($8).
Drawn in barrier one for Saturday the Commands six-year-old is third-up for the season, Lamasery last seen running third to Danleigh and Secret Admirer in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), and they pay $3 in the Hill Stakes odds at bookmaker.com.au.
So can Lamasery get the job done on Saturday and continue onto The Metropolitan before a Melbourne Spring cups bid?
Or is there an upset Hill Stakes result on the cards by one of the other The Metropolitan-bound hopefuls in the race such as early market mover Class Is Class ($5.50), the fellow Chris Waller-trained Permit ($6.50) or even Australian Derby runner-up Polish Knight ($11).
To save you time scrolling through the Hill Stakes field and form guide the expert team of tipsters at Races.com.au has done the hard work for you and provided the insider tips on the race below.
#5 Lamasery ($3)
- Should get the run of the race from barrier one if they can stay out of trouble
- Super consistent record with the best win rate here (50%) and highest place percentage (75%)
- Is third-up for the season and his two resuming runs were big efforts when fourth in the Warwick Stakes and third in the Chelmsford
- With the fitness factor and getting up to the 2000m this is their race and they are short for a reason
- Winner of a stakes race over 1800m on Melbourne Cup Day last year, a consolation for missing out on the cups due to injury, and is on track for another good season
#1 Mourayan ($6.50)
- Tough galloper representing in-form owner-trainer combo Lloyd Williams and Robert Hickmott
- Was beaten only two and a half in the Makybe Diva first-up when an unlucky fourth, never giving up
- Last saw the distance when second to Glass Harmonium in the Mackinnon on Derby Day
- Backed up from that to finish less than a length away third to Americain and Manighar in the Zipping Classic so has raced against the best stayers and been competitive
- Second-up record is impressive (6-2-2-0) and is used to carrying big weights so is suited to the weight-for-age conditions here
- Will be one of the forward runners from the gate and if they can hold on will give the favouite a run for their money
#8 Stout Hearted ($11)
- Good value at double figures for this Waller import with the right form to warrant a good look here
- Has been in flying form since the winter including a big four and a half length victory over 1900m at Canterbury last month, a win in the Premiers Cup Prelude at Rosehill, third to Glencadam Gold in the Premier’s Cup and their good last start win in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes over this distance
- Suits the 2000m to a tee (4-2-0-1)
- Has the second highest Win (40%) and Place (66.67%) percentages
Roughie We Like
#11 Lights Of Heaven ($14)
- Group 1 winning mare from Peter Moody’s Melbourne stables
- Gets a draw in barrier seven but needs to be forgiven for her two first-up runs
- Was 11th in the Warwick Stakes then dead last in the Chelmsford but Moody is pushing on confident she has improvement in her
- Getting up to the 2000m is going to be a good thing as she ran second to Mawingo over the distance in the Group 1 Doomben Cup back in may
- Went on to win the Eagle Farm Cup by three lengths and the Brisbane cup by the same so has class and form when she’s on
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