The opening Group race in Sydney on Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day at Royal Randwick this Saturday is the Percy Sykes Stakes 2015 for the two-year-old fillies, betting tips for which are found below.
There were originally nine final acceptors for this year’s $500,000 Group 3 Girvan Waugh Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) but the early scratching of #6 Perignon from the Gerald Ryan stables has left just eight in the mix.
Clear favourite in the latest Percy Sykes Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is Lake Geneva who has been backed in from $3 to $2.80 to break her maiden status.
Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes’ Fastnet Rock filly has had three starts for two thirds and a second but chases her first win on Saturday when dropping back in class after two tough Group 1 runs.
After a second on debut to Fireworks in the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill in late January, she ran third to Pride Of Dubai in Melbourne’s Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and then returned to Sydney for her third when only one and a half lengths off Vancouver in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on March 21.
There are four other single figure hopes out for the Percy Sykes Stakes upset meanwhile with the rails-drawn Serenade ($5), John O’Shea’s last start Moonee Valley winner Calaverite ($6), market mover Sempre Libera ($6.50) for Gai Waterhouse in her stakes race debut and Godolphin’s other runner Ottoman ($7).
So will the favourite salute for the punters or will a better priced rival steal the show?
#2 Lake Geneva ($2.80)
She hasn’t won yet but Lake Geneva is the deserving favourite who oozes class. This is a step back in class, her two Group 1 placings in recent times suggesting she’ll kill it in easier company here. Wider draw but it’s a small field and first look at the track but was only 1.6 lengths off the Golden Slipper winner at Rosehill over the distance and is ready to break that maiden status in a very winnable race.
#1 Calaverite ($6)
Godolphin’s Lonhro filly was sixth to English in her last Randwick run on March 7 but was only three lengths off the winner. She improved in Melbourne next start when running away with the Listed St Albans Stakes (1200m) victory at Moonee Valley, which she won by three and a half lengths. Back in Sydney looking to bring that form with her, the distance a non-issue obviously and James McDonald riding for the first time as she looks to go up with the favourite who she is drawn one inside of.
#4 Serenade ($5)
A likely slow pace will suite this Golden Slipper graduate who gets the run of the race from barrier one. She’ll be up on the pace out of that barrier and has improvement in her off a Slipper seventh when beaten just over two lengths. Craig Williams stays on and she should be returning to top three form here in her first run at Randwick.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change