Group One racing returns to Sydney this weekend in the form of the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), which is the feature race running at Warwick Farm.
15 top-class horses are set to tackle the mile, including defending champion Boban. The five-year-old gelding is one of eight horses saddled by Chris Waller as the trainer bids for an unprecedented fifth straight race win.
Despite saddling more than half of the field, Waller does not hold the race favourite. The honour is awarded to John O’Shea with Contributer – the $2.70 firm favourite in the Chipping Norton Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Contributer has it all working in his favour. The five-year-old horse won the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago, which is considered the lead-up race to winning the $500,000 Chipping Norton. Nine of the past 15 winners have come via the February 14 race, three of which completed the double.
11 of the 15 runners are coming via the Chipping Norton, which means Contributer already has the upper hand on the majority of the field. Is this enough to justify his favouritism or will one of the other 14 classy runners emerge victorious?
Check out our 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes betting tips below to see where to put your money this weekend.
#5 Contributer ($2.70)
All signs are pointing to Contributer having a successful run in the Chipping Norton Stakes but race history and statistics will only get you so far. John O’Shea’s five-year-old horse displayed a great turn of foot to win the Apollo Stakes first-up and looks set to improve over a mile, although the last time he tackled the distance was an eighth place finish in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) back in November. Contributer won the Apollo Stakes, which is considered the key lead-up race towards the Chipping Norton, and will jump from barrier four with James McDonald, which is considered the most successful start in the race’s history with seven winners in the past 30 years.
#15 Lucia Valentina ($5)
The Chipping Norton Stakes is generally ruled by boys with only three mares breaking through to win since 1983, the last of which was Tuesday Joy in 2009. Lucia Valentina is one of just two mares in Saturday’s race, along with Silent Achiever, and is well-tipped to succeed against the males at $5 second favourite in the betting. The Kris Lees-trained five-year-old was last seen running a commendable fourth in the Apollo Stakes. She was never going to win after getting caught at the back of the field and blocked for a run but worked hard to finish just short of a minor placing. She gets up to the mile now, which can only be a good thing.
#4 He’s Your Man ($12)
Chris Waller has admitted that He’s Your Man, Weary, and Boban are his best chances at winning his fifth straight Chipping Norton Stakes on Saturday. Six-year-old gelding He’s Your Man confidently won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) over the trip back in October and just missed out on the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) by the slimmest of margins. Despite drawing the outside gate for this Saturday he is a lucrative bet for punters with a winning price of $12 or $3.50 to place. He’s a genuine weight-for-age runner and should only improve on his sixth place finish in the Apollo Stakes
To place a bet on any of our 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes picks, simply open you Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account. New customers will receive a bonus match worth up to $250 on their first bets.
*All prices quoted are fixed-odds and subject to change.