Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Sydney’s feature race on the Rosehill Gardens race card this Saturday is the Festival Stakes 2015, betting tips for the black-type handicap found below.
Running as Rosehill Race 8 at 5:05pm (AEST) on the nine-race program, there are 14 hopefuls left in the mix after the early withdrawal of Slate On Edge (11) from the $150,000 Listed Sky Thoroughbred Central Festival Stakes (1500m) line-up this summer.
Leading the current Festival Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au at $4.60 is Gai Waterhouse’s in-form Choisir gelding Frespanol, the five-year-old coming off three top two runs.
Two back he beat home Rock Sturdy over the mile at Randwick before a last start second to Zanbagh when beaten only a half-length in the November Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill on November 14.
That was his seventh run at the track he returns to on Saturday, his sole win at the course being back in November of last year.
Hot on the favourites heels in the Festival Stakes odds at $5 is the John O’Shea-trained Dynaformer five-year-old It’s Somewhat drawn nicely in barrier four for his first run since a seventh to Hooked in Randwick’s Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) back in early September.
The other best fancied in the markets include early mover Ninth Legion ($7) with the inside running from barrier one and Tinto ($9) in the outside alley but the Magic Millions Stayers Cup winner from January still ticking plenty of boxes.
So will the single figure fancies take it out or is there value further down Saturday’s Festival Stakes markets from the likes of Chris Waller’s defending champion and Group 3 winner I’m Imposing ($21) or the Gerald Ryan-trained six-year-old Red Excitement ($12)?
#7 Heart Testa ($21)
Tipping a big upset in the Festival Stakes this year and rate Waller’s over-the-odds runner Heart Testa a genuine hope to win. The six-year-old comes off back-to-back Sydney fourths over 1400m and 1350m respectively including in the November Handicap last start carting a hefty 60.5kg. He is well down in the weights with 57kg this weekend, Blake Shinn aboard, and has four wins from a dozen starts at the track. Also drawn for a good run midfield from nine and comes of the form trainer of the season.
#9 Frespanol ($4.60)
In-form favourite will take some beating who also drops in weight from last time out down from 58.56kg to 56.5kg. Barrier seven will suit, won with merit at Randwick over the mile two back and was close second here last start. A fortnight between runs and a firmer track both aid his chances and will be in the money for sure.
#6 Centre Pivot ($12)
John Sargent-trained More Than Ready five-year-old can add more value to the Trifecta with an improved run after his November Handicap sixth in the wet, his first assignment on Heavy going. His Rosehill record, that run aside, is impressive with four wins and a second from seven runs. Had 58kg on his back last time out and is down a kilo here with Glyn Schofield taking over in the saddle.
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