This weekend in Sydney a top Group race studded program takes place at Randwick for George Main Stakes Day including a number of exciting fillies facing off in the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes.
Due to jump at 2:25pm as the opening Group 2 race on the card, there are eight in the mix for this year’s $175,000 Coolmore Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
Two of those are battling for favouritism in the Ladbrokes.com.au Tea Rose Stakes odds with Winx ($2.25) winning at this stage to defend her undefeated status.
The three time winning daughter of Street Cry is prepared by Chris Waller and scored an upset when defeating Alpha Miss (2nd) and Group 1 winner Earthquake (3rd) last time out in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
She’s ready then to repeat the feat against a similar line-up on a firmer track this weekend, the versatile filly a top chance for the upcoming $400,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) on October 4.
Next best in Tea Rose Stakes betting then at $2.70 is beaten Furious Stakes favourite Earthquake who was odds-on in her first run since finishing second to Mossfun in the Golden Slipper.
John O’Shea’s daughter of Exceed And Excel jumps from barrier three here with Winx (barrier two) on her inside as she looks to atone and win back the love of the punters.
The Tea Rose is a two-horse race as far as the bookies are concerned then with the rest of the field at double figures.
Following the dominant duo are the Bart & James Cummings-trained Furious Stakes fourth placed Sultry Feeling ($10) and Gerald Ryan’s Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Peggy Jean ($13) who ran fifth in that same lead-up.
Good value then can be found for the likes of Furious Stakes runner-up Alpha Miss ($15), Fastnet Rock filly Lady Sharapova ($15) coming off a third to George Main Stakes favourite Panzer Division in the Ming Dynasty and the rails-drawn First Seal ($17) before Melanya rounds out the markets as the $101 blowout.
So will Earthquake atone with a win when she doesn’t jump favourite for the first time?
Or win Winx get the job done again and make it four-from-four from her nice draw?
#1 Earthquake ($2.70)
She’s lost her past two starts but this Blue Diamond Stakes winner was far from disgraced first-up in the Furious. While you don’t expect a shortie like that to get rolled she was vulnerable first-up in the mud which we are seeing more and more she doesn’t like. She’ll be fitter for the run, better suited to the firmer track here too and has the class to suggest she’s ready to get back to the business of winning.
#4 Winx ($2.25)
Money is coming for Waller’s unbeaten filly who made it a winning hat trick from as many starts with her Furious Stakes upset in the wet. She’s got a great draw here in barrier two but a jockey change sees Hugh Bowman come off with Jason Collett back in the saddle after guiding her to victory for her two opening wins during the winter. Has handled all types of ground from Good to Heavy so whatever the track is doing she’s in it but could be tough to hold off Earthquake a second time.
#2 Peggy Jean ($13)
Think this is nice value for a Group 1 winner at the track who cut through the mud during April to beat the boys in the Sires’ Produce over the 1400m. John Thompson’s filly then is back up to that distance for the first time since and should be improving on her Furious Stakes fourth as she steps up to the 1400m. Was beaten four lengths first-up and will be better for the run having won her only other second-up start at Group 1 level. She’s also seen Randwick four times and come away with two victories and won on Good – Heavy like Winx so should be right in it.
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2014 Tea Rose Stakes Odds