The feature race in Sydney and one of the weekend’s seven Group races across the country is the Chelmsford Stakes 2014 at Royal Randwick, tips on the weight-for-age feature detailed below.
There are nine gallopers engaged in the field for this Saturday’s $175,000 Group 2 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), the mile clash featuring a host of Group 1 winners, performers and spring hopefuls.
Heading the latest Chelmsford Stakes betting odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.50 (out from $3.50) is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Pentire gelding Entirely Platinum.
The five-year-old is tipped to make it two on the trot this season following a first-up win in mid-August over 1400m at Rosehill over Mighty Lucky (2nd) and Greatwood (3rd) and gong from a handicap to weight-for-age should suit the promising staying type.
There are however five other livewire single figure chances in the Chelmsford Stakes field and odds making this an open affair.
Others in the mix with genuine claims include Chris Waller’s dual Doncaster Mile champ Sacred Falls ($5), Criterion ($5) who is looking an exciting Cox Plate prospect on October 25 and second pick in the market at $4 and firming Royal Descent also from the Waller stables.
So will the easing favourite hold off Waller’s charge?
Historically the Group 2 Warwick Stakes has been the best guide to the Chelmsford Stakes with 20 of the 29 runnings since 1984 having been won by horses coming off the former including six of the past seven that resumed in the Warwick Stakes and went to the Chelmsford second-up.
The Warwick Stakes graduates facing off on Saturday are Royal Descent (2nd), Criterion (3rd), Sacred Falls (4th) and Hawkspur (5th).
Of those only Hakwspur didn’t resume in the Warwick Stakes. So will the winner come from one of the above three? And if so, in what order will the Chelmsford Stakes first three finish?
#9 Royal Descent ($4)
Following the money trail here with Waller’s Redoute’s Choice mare having firmed in from $4.60 to $4 making her the market mover. Comes off a nice second in the Warwick Stakes when hampered at the 600m and boxing on well behind Tiger Tees. Good second-up record and has run second in all three of her starts over the mile including behind her stablmate in the Doncaster Mile here in the autumn. Has the class having finished under two lengths away fifth in the Caulfield Cup but hasn’t won a race since a 10 length romp in the mud for the Australian Oaks last year – is due.
#1 Sacred Falls ($5)
Sticking with the Doncaster Mile quinella but reversing the placings with this O’Reilly five-year-old a top chance here at a track and distance he boasts two wins from four starts over. Warwick Stakes fourth first-up beaten only 1.6 lengths so will have improvement. Any rain around will also help this known mudlark drawn on the rails with Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
#8 Criterion ($5)
Criterion is going to keep improving this prep is our guess as the Sebring four-year-old heads towards the Cox Plate. This weight-for-age in Sydney will be good practice. Third in the Warwick Stakes and should be close again here. A dual Group 1 winner in the autumn with victories in the Rosehill Guineas over 2000m and the ATC Derby over the mile and a half so expect top runs as he gets more distance. Will be short of his best this weekend but class goes a long way. Better looking ahead historically if he doesn’t win too as Might And Power (1998) was the last Cox Plate winner to come through the Chelmsford.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change