Robert Smerdon’s Sydney-bound mare Noble Protector is the headline final acceptor and early favourite to take out the Schweppervescence Trophy 2016 at Flemington Racecourse this weekend on ‘Super Saturday’.
The penultimate event on the nine-race program, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) runs as Flemington Race 8 at 5:10pm (AEDT) and features a final field of 13 fillies and mares.
To wear the number one saddlecloth and jump from barrier nine with Craig Williams in the saddle is Noble Protector who also leads early Schweppervescence Trophy odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.40 for the win.
The six-year-old daughter of Haafhd hasn’t raced since a 15th in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) in the spring, but she was on fire last autumn and is set to return to that form this season.
She won the Group 3 Matron Stakes (1600m) first-up over the Flemington mile in March before her Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) success at Moonee Valley and then crossed a brave third beaten under two lengths in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in Sydney.
The same Royal Randwick Group 1 during April’s The Championships is again on the agenda for Noble Protector who is at $13 in futures Queen Of The Turf Stakes betting.
Hot on her heels for Saturday’s Melbourne lead-up at $3.60 is the Danny O’Brien-trained Miss Rose De Lago, second-up this weekend.
She is a Group 3 winner in Melbourne and Group 1 performed at Flemington, the five-year-old returning with a very close third behind Azkadellia in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago.
Miss Rose De Lago was beaten under half a length as a $17 shot that day, runs well with a 50% strike rate second-up so far and has lots of claims even from the wide barrier (11) this Saturday with Damien Oliver aboard.
There is just one other single figure hope in the markets with Anaphora paying $9 to win from gate eight for Mornington’s Tony Noonan.
The Dylan Thomas four-year-old has her first Flemington run this Saturday on the back of a Mannerism Stakes fifth, beaten only 1.65 lengths, in what was her first Group assignment since the 2015 Queensland Oaks failure (14th) behind Chris Waller’s superstar Winx.
Plenty of runners in the Schweppervescence Trophy field have genuine claims for an upset at juicy odds then including the likes of the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained High Chaparral filly Sacred Eye ($11), Peter Moody’s five-year-old Metaphorical ($11) and the rails-drawn Felicienne for flying Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir.
See below for the full Schweppervescence Trophy 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and current Fixed Win prices provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time sign-up offer for new players that quote the code BETBONUS when making their initial deposit!