One of the most exciting races at Rosehill’s George Main Stakes Day this Saturday is the 2013 Bill Ritchie Handicap for Epsom Handicap-bound hopes, betting tips on the important spring lead-up detailed below.
A field of 12 is left to contest this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m), running as Race 6 at 3:55pm (AEST), after the early withdrawal of #13 Tom’s Rocket.
There are two clear favourites in Bill Ritchie Handicap betting this year meanwhile with the Chris Waller-trained Boban at $3 fighting off Kelso Wood’s Group 1 winning Brisbane raider and market mover Sizzling at $3.10.
Bernardini four-year-old Boban is a last start Sydney winner having resumed at Rosehill on August 31 to win a Benchmark 90 over 1300m.
They were second to Limes over the 1400m in the Hawksbury Guineas back in May but haven’t won over the distance they see on Saturday since April last year.
Drawn ideally in gate four with Tim Clark to ride, the punters are then getting right behind Wood’s Snitzel four-year-old Sizzling to win their first race since the Queensland Guineas back home in June.
Sizzling will be third-up for the season, their most recent run seeing them lump around a hefty 60kg to finish fifth when beaten only 1.7 lengths by Malavio in the Group 3 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at the track on September 7.
This weekend they still give away lots of weight to some quality types but the 57.5kg certainly will be a relief for the 2012 TJ Smith champ.
Following Boban and Sizzling in the Bill Ritchie Handicap odds are then two other single figure fancies with Title ($8.50) and Bello ($9.50).
So should you be sticking with one of the horses under $10?
Or will there be a blowout Bill Ritchie Handicap result with a longer priced chance getting up for the bookies such as Steve Englebrecht’s last start Tramway Handicap winner Malavio ($13), veteran seven-year-old Keith’s Legacy ($16) or even the Gwenda Markwell-trained nine-year-old Bay Window ($31) coming off a win at the track from August 10?
#3 Sizzling ($3.10)
The money is starting to come for the Queenslander and we are saying jump on now before the price firms further. Kelso Wood is one of the best in Brisbane and knows how to travel and win too. Sizzling has been a horse to watch since their juvenile season which produced a Group 1. They have travelled and been competitive in Melbourne and now Sydney too. Got up to 1400m second-up at Randwick last start and were beaten under two lengths, get a chance to turn the tables on the horses that beat them home there when they drop from 60kg to 57.5kg. Tim Clark stays on and the duo have a nicer gate this time for the horse’s racing style.
#2 Malavio ($13)
Beat Sizzling and a few others last time out in the Tramway which was a nice run for this consistent Snitzel gelding. Go up from 57.5kg to the 58kg topweight however so need to handle the weight. Good form in Sydney around this distance and up to a mile and rarely don’t perform. Best place bet easily.
#1 Bello ($9.50)
Think it’ll be a tight battle for the line again between Bello and Malavio with the same horse getting there first, this son of Exceed And Excel to play the bridesmaid for the minor placings. Group 3 winner over 1400m at Newcastle last March and stay on 58kg which they carried last start in the Tramway. Winner third-up at Rosehill over this distance in the summer too so it’s the right time for them to peak.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change