Emerging hoop Sam Clipperton has a hot book of rides at Royal Randwick this Saturday for John O’Shea and the Godolphin stable including aboard Ninth Legion in the day’s feature race – the Apollo Stakes 2015.
Due to jump at 4:15pm (AEDT) as Randwick Race 6, this year’s $250,000 Group 2 Optus Apollo Stakes (1400m) field is down to 14 runners with Red Excitement scratched to run in Melbourne’s Group 3 Carlyon Cup instead.
It’s an open Apollo Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au for the weekend with a host of livewire chances including the firming $5.50 favourite, Chris Waller’s Expressway Stakes winner Weary out wide in barrier 13 for Tommy Berry.
Ninth Legion meanwhile is drawn in the outside gate giving Clipperton work to do in the weight-for-age clash.
The up-and-coming jockey though believes that barrier 14 might not be as bad as it looks to the punters, with plenty of time to make up any ground lost from the gate over the 1400m.
“Another outside gate,” Clipperton told Racenet, his 2015 Golden Slipper tip Calaverite also drawn wide with barrier 11 of 11 for her first-up run in Saturday’s $125,000 Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m).
“But sometimes in these 1400 metre races at Randwick, especially weight-for-age races where the tempo can be quite slow, it’s not actually a bad thing to be out wide early, avoiding any traffic.
“He’s got that one run under his belt too, so I am expecting him to run a big race.”
Five-year-old Fasntet Rock gelding Ninth Legion has had eight goes over the distance for a strong record of three wins, two seconds and a third.
He also has a good second-up record of two wins, a second and a third from six starts.
He’s second-up again on the weekend after resuming at Randwick on January 24 with a smart one and three-quarter length victory over That’s A Good Idea in the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) at the same track and distance he’s over on Saturday.
That was his first run since finishing a brave fourth to He’s Your Man, another won of the six Waller-trained Apollo Stakes hopes on the weekend, in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 4.
A winner of six of his 26 starts to date, Ninth Legion is heading towards a feature race run during The Championships in April.
He is nominated for the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) held back at Randwick on April 4.
Futures Doncaster Mile odds are now open online at Ladbrokes.com.au and are led by Japan’s World Ace ($8) along with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win ($9).
Ninth Legion meanwhile pays $34 in the current Doncaster Mile betting markets.
To get behind Ninth Legion this weekend in the Apollo Stakes and to check out the all-in Group 1 markets for the upcoming autumn features, head over to Ladbrokes.com.au and open an account with the online sportsbook rewarding new sign-ups with a $250 bonus bet this season!