The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Messene has opened clear favourite to win the opening Group race of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival with a first-up victory in Saturday’s Missile Stakes 2015.
Set to run as Randwick Race 6 at 3:30pm (AEST), this year’s $175,000 Group 2 McGrath Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m) field features nine sprinters.
Drawn well in barrier three with Tommy Berry booked for the ride is the early favourite in Missile Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Team Hawkes’ Lonhro seven-year-old Messene.
The veteran gelding ran second to Sweet Idea in the race 12 months ago before running ninth behind the since retired Dissident in both the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) last spring.
He hasn’t raced since last September but has had two good Rosehill trials most recently running third over 900m on Tuesday morning ahead of his first-up run where he’ll look to continue a solid record when resuming (6-3-2-0).
Messene pays $3.30 in the latest Missile Stakes odds and is followed in the close markets by four other single figure hopefuls including $4.60 second elect Temple Of Boom.
Tony Gollan’s former Group 1 winning Brisbane visitor is drawn one inside the favourite jumping from a gun gate two with apprentice Winona Costin in the saddle for his maiden run since crossing fourth to Ciaron Maher’s top mare Srikandi in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) back home in early June.
The Piccolo nine-year-old is an evergreen warhorse that continues to show a zest for racing including his impressive four length trial win at Randwick on July 31 leading into the Missile.
Following the market mover Temple Of Boom ($4.80 into $4.60) is then the $5 third pick Weary for Sydney’s premier horseman Chris Waller.
Drawn the outside barrier (nine of nine), returning French import Weary has Glyn Schofield booked to ride, Schofield back aboard after riding the Astronomer Royal grey for his two most recent runs last time in.
Weary, who boasts two wins from three previous starts over Saturday’s distance, is first-up for the first time since his second to fellow former French-trained galloper Pornichet in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben in early May.
Rounding out the hopes under $10 to win the Missile on Saturday are then the flying David Pfieffer-trained War Pass stallion Lord Leofric ($7) who shoots for a fourth straight win after a string of nice winter runs in Sydney and Bjorn Baker’s O’Reilly seven-year-old Burbero ($8) who is second-up for the season after finishing runner-up to Brook Road in the July Sprint on July 25 at Canterbury.
See below for the full Missile Stakes 2015 betting odds, markets open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time depositor’s bonus with use of the promo code BETBONUS