The Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) is one of five black-type races running at Royal Randwick Racecourse this Saturday, marking the return of Fiveandahalfstar.
The Anthony Cummings-trained gelding has been absent for 22 months after injuring his leg during his winning Group 1 BMW (2400m) ride in April 2013. His chances at scoring a comeback victory in the 2015 Southern Cross Stakes look slim since he’ll carry the hefty top weight of 60.5kg, which is six kilos more than he won The BMW on. Fiveandahalfstar is also more of a middle-distance runner, having never won over 1200 metres before, which is why he’s a long $34 shot in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Heading the market is Gai Waterhouse’s Driefontein at $3. The consistent mare has been running since October with no sign of giving up without a win. Will she finally break through to the winner’s circle in the 2015 Southern Cross Stakes? Or will Fiveandahalfstar cause an upset on his return to racing? Check out our betting tips for the race below.
#3 Driefontein ($3)
Gai Waterhouse’s tough five-year-old mare has run straight through the spring and summer with six starts since October, however she remains without a win. Driefontein came close in the Group 2 Tab.com.au (1200m) back in November and ran a very good fourth in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on January 10, just three-quarters of a length off the win. Her luckless run continued in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at the end of the month, just getting out bobbed on the line by Weary. Driefontein has finished in the first two in eight of her 15 starts over 1200 metres and will enjoy a good jump from barrier four with Blake Shinn.
#5 Bull Point ($4.80)
The Chris Waller-trained four-year-old horse will resume in the Southern Cross Stakes following a lucrative spring that saw him place in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Rupert Clarke Charity Cup (1400m), and Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m). The classy horse has finished in the first three in five of his six starts over 1200 metres and has won at Randwick before. Bull Point will get an inside start from barrier two with James McDonald.
#7 Territory ($4.40)
Rounding out our Southern Cross Stakes top three tips is Jarrod Austin’ Territory. The seven-year-old gelding will head to the race fit following two minor placings from his two starts in January. Territory was just half a length off the winner in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on January 9 and did a nice job to get into third in the Expressway Stakes three weeks later. The gelding has plenty of experience over the trip (21:4-1-7) and will jump from barrier six with Sam Clipperton.
To back our 2015 Southern Cross Stakes tips and selections open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account today. New customers will receive a $250 bonus match when they make their first bet.