A bumper field of three-year-olds face off in the South Pacific Classic 2016 at Royal Randwick Racecourse this Saturday in Sydney, the full field and betting tips for which are detailed below.
Set to run as Randwick Race 2 at 12:10pm (AEDT) on a huge 10-race Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day program, a full 15 starter field will face off in this year’s $150,000 Listed McGrath Estate Agents South Pacific Classic (1400m).
Three are currently battling for top spot in the South Pacific Classic betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au, the early favourite at $6.50 for the win being the Gai Waterhouse-trained Kimberley Star.
Drawn a treat in gate six for hoop Blake Shinn, the Star Witness filly is third-up on the weekend and chasing her first win since August last year.
She’s a multiple Group placegetter however and is Group 1 performed having run a brave sixth beaten only 1.4 lengths by the winner Speak Fondly in last October’s Flight Stakes over the Randwick mile.
First-up this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Kimberly Star finished fourth in a Randwick Listed sprint on March 5 before her last start second to Lady Sniper in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m).
Following closely in the South Pacific Classic odds at an equal $7 are the early market mover Santa Ana Lane and Mawahibb drawn in barriers nine and seven respectively.
Carrying the 59kg top weight in the quality handicap, the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Santa Ana Lane is a Lope De Vega gelding out to improve on a ninth in the Listed Darby Munro (1200m) at Rosehill on March 19.
He had a wide barrier 14 of 14 draw then and won the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield the run before.
Since the Darby Munro, the horse’s first Sydney assignment, Santa Ana Lane has won a subsequent April first trial at Warwick Farm over 1200m and looks fit and ready to fire at his second run this way of going.
Mawahibb has top hoop Damien Oliver booked for the ride, the Team Hawkes-trained Magic Albert colt racing in black-type company for the first time since his fifth in Moonee Valley’s Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) back on Cox Plate Day in the spring.
His final lead-up into his Randwick debut on the weekend was a second over 1400m at Sandown-Lakeside on March 23 and for Saturday he drops back from 58kg to the 54kg minimum.
Also at single figures for the win at $9 is Suspense, an undefeated son of Keano prepared by Peter & Paul Snowden.
To date Suspense has won all four of his race starts including over 1200m at Warwick Farm on March 28 earning his shot against tougher company on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’.
Outside of the hopes under $10 are a number of other livewire chances at generous odds including the consistent Sonic Swish ($10) and Team Snowden’s Redoute’s Choice colt Dark Steel ($10).
Drawn wide but still being kept safe in betting with the outside alley is the Jason Warren-trained Group 3 winner Puritan ($12), a Craig Williams mount with work to do from the alley.
Also paying $12 for the win is the progressive John O’Shea-trained son of Street Cry Handfast who is drawn the opposite end of the field with barrier one and the returning Chris Waller-trained High Chaparral filly Chandana who jumps from the second widest gate.
See below for the full South Pacific Classic 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time depositors’ bonus with use of the code BETBONUS!