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No filly has won since 1998 but on Saturday the Gai Waterhouse-trained English is favourite in The Galaxy 2016 betting to break the hoodoo with victory in the Rosehill Gardens sprint feature.
Runner-up in the Golden Slipper on the same day 12 months ago, the lightly-raced Encosta De Lago filly English returned to racing with a smart win in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick a fortnight ago.
The Galaxy field is at capacity this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with the full 14 starters plus four emergencies, and English has suffered a wide draw in barrier 17 (into 13).
Shellscrape (2010) was the last The Galaxy winner from the gate, but no three-year-old filly has won the race since La Baraka (1998).
Waterhouse however won the race last year with Sweet Idea (2015) and English pays $4.40 to hand her trainer with back-to-back wins this year.
Despite the size of the field just two other runners are under double figures to take it out with Fell Swoop ($6) and Terravista ($6), both coming off Group 1 Melbourne placings last time out.
Matthew Dale’s Canberra-based Not A Single Doubt four-year-old Fell Swoop won four on the trot last campaign before his luckless first-up second to Flamberge in Caulfield’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) three weeks back.
The Oakleigh Plate runner-up was held up at a crucial stage in his run to the line and is out to atone on the weekend at a track he has won both previous starts at.
Brenton Avdulla jumps aboard under race conditions for the first time and Fell Swoop will appreciate dropping from 53kg to just 52.5kg here.
Joe Pride’s highly rated Captain Rio six-year-old Terravista meanwhile is much higher up The Galaxy weights carrying equal 58kg top weight with the Oakleigh Plate winner Flamberge ($17).
He is undefeated over the distance with two previous runs and resumed with a devastatingly narrow second to Chautauqua in the Group 1 Lighting Stakes (1000m) down the Flemington straight four weeks back.
Pride bypassed last weekend’s Newmarket Handicap for a shot at The Galaxy and having been kept fresh, Terravista is a big chance from barrier three with Hugh Bowman aboard.
Outside of the top three the next best fancied to score an upset The Galaxy result on the weekend include the Team Hawkes-trained Our Boy Malachi ($10), Peter & Paul Snowden’s Lonhro mare Bounding ($12) and Shiraz ($12) from the Hawkesbury stables of Tony McEvoy.
Our Boy Malachi is a seven-year-old son of Top Echelon who comes off a fifth in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
He carried 59kg that day having won the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill by an easy three lengths the run before and drops to 56kg this weekend, but is out wide (14).
Bounding fared much better in The Galaxy barrier draw with gate seven, possibly into five, with Kerrin McEvoy shooting for another win following his success aboard Bel Sprinter (2013).
Looking to go back-to-back for the mares, Bounding is looking to improve on an Oakleigh Plate ninth first-up and has a strong second-up record (6-2-2-1).
Shiraz meanwhile ran fourth to English in the Challenge Stakes beaten under a length in his first run of the season.
The Rosehill specialist boasts four wins and a second from five previous runs at the track he’s back at this weekend over his pet distance (10-5-2-1) making him a big danger dropping from 58.5kg to 54kg on the weekend.
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2016 The Galaxy Betting
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