The Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) is one of five black-type races running at Royal Randwick Racecourse this Saturday, attracting a field of nine sprinters.
The Anthony Cummings-trained Fiveandahalfstars is set to make his return to racing after nearly two years on the sidelines in the race; however he’s considered a long shot at winning on his return, with odds of $31 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Four of the nine runners are available at single figure odds in the betting market, led by Driefontein at $3.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained mare has raced straight through the spring and summer, with six starts to her name since last October. Driefontein was runner-up in the Group 2 Tab.com.au Stakes (1200m) in November, and was a fast finishing fourth in the $400,000 Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 10, missing out on a placing by just a quarter of a length.
The five-year-old was last seen running second in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) on January 31, just being out bobbed by Weary on the line.
Driefontein will jump from barrier four with Blake Shinn to ride in the 2015 Southern Cross Stakes but faces tough competition from the other three single figure betting prospects.
- #2 Hot Snitzel ($4.40) – Gerald Ryan’s six-year-old gelding will enjoy an inside jump from barrier one with champion hoop Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle. Hot Snitzel has won his two starts over 1400m at Randwick but has had nearly ten months on the sidelines after a disappointing winter campaign in Brisbane. He did however win the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) last autumn and finish second in the Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1200m).
- #7 Territory ($4.40) – The Jarrod Austin-trained gelding has finished third in his two starts this campaign – the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) and Expressway Stakes. With plenty of experience over the Randwick track, Territory is well-tipped to finish in the placings in the Southern Cross Stakes. He will jump from barrier six with Sam Clipperton as jockey.
- #5 Bull Point ($5) – the final single figure hopeful in the Southern Cross Stakes betting is Chris Waller’s Bull Point. The four-year-old horse is resuming following a successful spring that saw him place in three Group races, including the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Charity Cup (1400m). The horse will enjoy an inside jump from barrier two with James McDonald.
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