Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
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.
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?
#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.
#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.
#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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