A number of 2015 Epsom Handicap hopes for next month’s Group 1 will shoot for the ballot exemption this weekend in the $125,000 Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) on George Main Stakes Day.
This year’s Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) is worth $1 million in prize money and runs at Royal Randwick on October 3.
A ballot exemption into the lucrative Sydney Spring Racing Carnival classic is on offer to this weekend’s Bill Ritchie Handicap winner at the same track, the lead-up attracting 14 early entries.
2015 Bill Ritchie Handicap nominations are extended until 11am (AEST) on Tuesday morning, but of the current entries the shortest priced in futures Epsom Handicap betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Messene.
A $21 shot in the all-in Epsom Handicap odds, veteran Lonhro seven-year-old Messene shoots for his first win since the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) back in March last year.
After a good second-up third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22, Messene will be out on Saturday to improve on an eighth to Winx in last weekend’s Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) if accepted for the quick back-up.
The next best in Epsom markets in the Bill Ritchie mix at $26 for the Group 1 is the Helen Page-trained Gold Coast visitor Rudy.
The Red Dazzler five-year-old comes off back-to-back thirds this time in, the latest which was on September 5 when beaten only three quarters of a length by Hooked in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m).
Other notable Epsom Handicap nominees also entered for the Bill Ritchie include $41 hopes Rekindled Power and Sadler’s Lake.
Scone horseman Paul Messara trains Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Rekindled Power, the stallion racing first-up having finished third in both his other resuming runs to date.
His last start was back in May at Doomben when a disappointing 11th in the Group 3 Fred Best Stakes (1350m), the Group 3 placegetter shooting for his maiden black-type victory this time in.
Sadler’s Lake represents Sydney’s best trainer Chris Waller, the High Chaparral gelding coming off a first-up win at Randwick on September 5 in a BenchMark 85 over 1400m.
That was his first run since running a good fourth in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) back in early June, the now four-year-old tipped to improve when getting out over more distance again this preparation.
Waller has also nominated for his Group 1 performed High Chaparral mare Ballet Suite, six-year-old Heart Testa who ran a flat 10th to Waller’s Epsom Handicap favourite Winx last Saturday and the returning Caloundra Cup winner Index Linked for Saturday’s handicap showdown.
Other notable Bill Ritchie chances among the current entries include the James Cummings-trained improver Burning Passion and the consistent Never Back Down coming off three straight third place finishes in easier company beaten under two lengths each time.
Check out the early Bill Ritchie Handicap 2015 nominations then visit our number one recommended bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au to open a new account quoting the code SPRINGBONUS to have your initial deposit matched dollar for dollar up to $500!
2015 Bill Ritchie Handicap Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 19/09/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1x114817x5||BALLET SUITE||M||4||Chris Waller||86|
|2||2x31579x22||BURNING PASSION||G||4||James Cummings||71|
|3||x47060435x||DESTINY’S KISS||G||7||Joseph Pride||95|
|5||1046150×40||HEART TESTA||G||6||Chris Waller||100|
|6||5104110x||HIGH MIDNIGHT||G||4||James Cummings||77|
|7||811105216x||INDEX LINKED (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||104|
|9||17x299x538||MESSENE||G||7||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||106|
|10||0365236333||NEVER BACK DOWN||G||5||Jim & Greg Lee||61|
|11||32174×1||PUZZLING WONDER||H||4||Anthony Cummings||70|
|12||3616x340x||REKINDLED POWER||H||4||Paul Messara||78|
|14||11x42154x1||SADLER’S LAKE||G||4||Chris Waller||92|