The first at Rosehill Racecourse on Saturday sees the fillies and mares face off in the Epona Stakes 2016, betting odds and insider tips for the Golden Slipper Day opener detailed below.
Set to run as Rosehill Race 1 at 12:40pm (AEDT), this season’s $150,000 Group 3 Nathan’s Famous Epona Stakes (1900m) field features 11 hopefuls.
Favourite in the current Epona Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.90 for the win is the Tim Martin-trained Street Cry four-year-old Heavens Above.
She has won her past two on the trot at Randwick over 1400m and 1600m respectively, the latest being a half-length victory in the Group 3 Aspiration Quality a fortnight back.
Rosehill has produced three seconds from four runs from the in-form mare who goes up from 54kg last time out to 56kg this weekend with Tye Angland jumping in the saddle.
Following closely in Epona Stakes betting this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival at an easing $4.40 is the Aspiration Quality runner-up All Cerise from the star Chris Waller stables.
A five-year-old daughter of Redoute’s Choice, All Cerise won four straight summer assignments before her second in the Randwick Group 3 last time out carrying 58kg.
On Saturday Dwayne Dunn replaces Hugh Bowman in the saddle, the mare dropping back to just 54kg in a massive advantage.
Also at single figures for the win currently are the fellow Waller-trained Shamardal four-year-old Sweet Fire ($7.50), the rails-drawn Algeria ($9) coming off an Aspiration third for trainer John O’Shea and fourth in the same lead-up Skyline Blush ($9) drawn well in barrier four on the weekend.
So can the top fancies in the markets get the job done for the punters in the Sydney opener on Saturday or is there value tipping an upset Epona Stakes result from the likes of the Anthony Cummings-trained Vergara ($10) or Joe Pride’s six-year-old Adorabeel ($14)?
#5 All Cerise ($4.40)
Five-year-old was on fire before her Aspiration second when narrowly beaten with the big weight. She drops down to the 54kg minimum here, four kilos less than last time out, and that combined with a gun barrier three draw are big plusses. The six kilo turnaround puts her in the right frame for the upset this time around.
#6 Sweet Fire ($7.50)
Waller’s Aspiration Quality sixth-placegetter didn’t get much luck last start, but she should be improving sharply with a better run this weekend from her nice barrier five draw with Tommy Berry taking over for Tim Clark. She also drops from 55.5kg to 54kg here and has winning form at the track and up to 1800m, so the extra metres this Saturday should suit.
#7 Algeria ($9)
O’Shea’s Medaglia D’Oro four-year-old is third-up on Saturday and set to peak after a second and third respectively at Randwick. She has had four previous Rosehill runs for a win and two thirds and was beaten only two lengths in the Aspiration. Will be improving off that and if she handles the trip, which she’s a hope to do from the inside alley on the weekend, she’ll be in the finish.
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