2015 Flight Stakes Tips & Selections

The fillies-only Flight Stakes 2015 is one of the three Group 1 races running at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse on Saturday, betting tips for the mile classic found below.

Honesta

Honesta is the Races.com.au tip to win the 2015 Flight Stakes on Sydney’s Epsom Handicap Day this weekend. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Due to jump as Randwick Race 8 at 4:40pm (AEST), this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) has attracted 11 hopefuls with the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au led by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Speak Fondly ($2.60).

Waterhouse has trained seven previous Flight Stakes winners, most recently More Joyous (2009), and is back in 2015 with four in the mix led by triple Group 2 winner Speak Fondly who was last seen running second to Exosphere in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on September 12.

The other best in Flight Stakes betting are the John O’Shea-trained Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) winner at the track last time out Pearls ($6.50) and Waterhouse’s fourth placegetter first-up in the same traditional lead-up race Sempre Libera ($8.50).

So will one of Waterhouse’s take it out and hand her with an eighth win in the classic or is there value further down the markets for a Flight Stakes upset such as the John Thompson-trained Honesta ($9) on the rails who was runner-up in the Tea Rose two weeks ago?

1st

#4 Honesta ($9)

The value bet in the class line-up comes from last year’s winning trainer Thompson whose filly First Seal completed the Tea Rose Stakes – Flight Stakes double. Twelve months on and this in-form daughter of Monaco Consul ran a brave second beaten only a quarter-length in the Tea Rose that has produced more Flight Stakes winners than any other race. Tea Rose form is very hard to knock in this Group 1 and the fact Honesta has a gun barrier one draw for the rematch and the proven mile record having won back-to-back races over the distance she’s back up to this weekend in Doomben before the Tea Rose run this prep.

2nd

#5 Pearls ($6.50)

John O’Shea trains this lightly-raced Exceed And Excel filly who is on the improve and looks progressive with two wins and a second from her three starts so far. She’s progressed from a three-year-old maiden at Gosford in mid-August to her Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes success and is now looking to become the fourth fill in five years to complete the Tea Rose – Flight Stakes double. With winning form at the track and a decent gate seven draw, Pearls has class and is still at a nice price.

3rd

#1 Speak Fondly ($2.60)

Race favourite from the Waterhouse stable who boasts class galore with three Group 2 wins to her name including the Silver Shadow – Furious Stakes double at the Randwick track this time in before her Group 1 run last time out in a tough Golden Rose field. She is back against her own kind this weekend going up to a mile and will appreciate that as well as getting back to Randwick. No Flight Stakes winner had their final lead-up in a Golden Rose in over 30 years, but the money is on this one to do just that and if she goes the distance she could salute for the punters.

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