The three-year-olds are on show all over town this weekend including in Sydney’s Ming Dynasty Quality Handicap 2014 at Royal Randwick.
There are nine left in the mix for the $125,000 Group 3 clash over 1400m on Chelmsford Stakes Day on Saturday following the early withdrawal of the John O’Shea-trained Meursault with the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au firmly led by Washington Heights.
Paying $2.10 and firming after opening at $2.70 the Gerald Ryan-trained Commands colt is looking to break his maiden status at career start number three after two Group 3 seconds to kick off his career.
The most recent was over 1100m at Rosehill behind Nostradamus in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes on August 16, an effort he’s tipped to improve on going up in distance.
It’s the same distance he’ll see again Saturday week should connections back Washington Heights up in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes, a spring feature the youngster pays $10 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win on the short back-up.
His main dangers this weekend meanwhile are perceived to be Gai Waterhouse’s Group 2 Skyline Stakes winner Valentia ($6), the progressive Panzer Division ($6) and the Team Hawkes-trained filly Lady Sharapova ($7.50) coming off a first-up win at Canterbury four weeks ago.
So will the favourite salute in Randwick Race 4?
#3 Panzer Division ($6)
Tipping an upset here and think Paul Messara’s Redoute’s Choice colt will be the one to provide it. He’s a progressive type and while he’s not yet proven like many of Saturday’s rivals, he showed plenty of promise first-up at the track over 1300m in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes. On debut won at Kembla Grange over 1200m in July and the break did him well with just a nose between him and Scissor Kick on August 23. Distance increase again is going to work to his advantage and fitness should be there too.
#2 Washington Heights ($2.10)
Plenty to like about the favourite and think it’ll be a close finish. Hasn’t won yet and could be regulated to his third Group 3 second in as many career starts. Bookies really rate him but does have a wider draw. First-up run behind Nostradamus over 1100m was good but hasn’t been second-up before and does have to handle a notable increase going up to 1400m. If anyone can prepare him to do that though it’s Waterhouse so watch for it.
#4 Clover Lane ($15)
Adding nice value to the first three past the post is this Peter Moody-trained O’Reilly filly drawn one inside the favourite in gate eight. Sam Clipperton rides her and she’s proven a consistent up-and-comer. Won on debut at Bendigo in the mud and last time out was far from disgraced on a Heavy (9) Randwick course when third behind Golden Slipper placegetter Bring Me The Maid (1st) in the Silver Shadow Stakes.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change