Peter & Paul Snowden’s returning Golden Slipper winner Capitalist will have just six rivals as he looks to make history as the first three-year-old Missile Stakes 2016 winner in over a decade.
The $3.5 million earner has suffered just one loss in his five-start career to date and on Saturday will jump odds-on favourite to win first-up in Royal Randwick’s $175,000 Group 2 Mark Moran Missile Stakes (1200m).
It will be his first run as a three-year-old, of the new season and also at weight-for-age against the older horses.
The star Written Tycoon colt gets the weight advantage carrying just 51.5kg with Kerrin McEvoy confirmed for the ride in place of the youngster’s regular rider Blake Shinn who couldn’t get down to those kilos to continue his association.
Since Dance Hero and Snippetson ran the Missile Stakes quinella back in 2005, no other three-year-old has attempted to win the early Sydney Spring Racing Carnival sprint.
It is Capitalist’s to loose according to the markets and he trialled nicely on July 29 over 850m at Randwick with McEvoy in the saddle.
Outside of Capitalist there are a host of livewire chances running for second including Gary Portelli’s first-up specialist Rebel Dane.
Last time out the experienced California Dane stallion had his 20th Group 1 run for a brave fourth as a 31/1 outsider behind English at the Randwick track in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) in mid-April.
It has been a while between drinks for Rebel Dane whose last win was in his resuming run last September in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m), also held at Randwick where he runs first-up again this weekend.
The spring before he also ran well in his campaign kick-off when third only a quarter-length off the winner Sweet Idea in the 2014 Missile Stakes.
It is this kind of form and proficiency Portelli hopes will give his seven-year-old the edge over the hard-to-beat Capitalist this weekend.
Another well-performed Sydney-trained seven-year-old in the Missile Stakes mix this season is John O’Shea’s Lonhro gelding Generalife.
The Godolphin-raced galloper’s last start produced a fifth to It’s Somewhat in Rosehill’s Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) in March and he’s out to break a notable drought not having won since the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) 12 months before that.
Randwick is far from Generalife’s preferred track as he has had six starts for just the one third place finish, and Brenton Avdulla will be aboard as he looks to break his maiden status at the course this weekend.
Coming off a nice lead-up run and boasting a fitness advantage over many others in the field is Rodney Northam’s rails-drawn Big Money.
Robert Thompson sticks in the saddle of the Choisir seven-year-old who was last seen crossing a devastatingly close second to Smart Volatility in the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 13.
Big Money was just a short-half-head off the Hong Kong expat in the Ramornie where he carted 59kg from barrier 12 of 14, the drop back to 58.5kg at WFA and the better barrier in a smaller field working in the veteran’s favour on Saturday.
His last start at Randwick was in mid-February when winning the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) with Thompson aboard.
Rounding out the field are Allan Denham’s recent Winter Dash winner Mount Nebo, July sprint runner-up at Canterbury last start Wouldnt It Be Nice for Newcastle’s Paul Perry and Capitalist’s roughie hope stablemate Tycoon Tara.
See below for the full Missile Stakes 2016 field and barriers before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to back your favourites at the right price!
2016 Missile Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 5 (2:10pm) – 06/08/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||23x354094x||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Tommy Berry||2||58.5kg||107|
|2||3x652x445x||GENERALIFE||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||5||58.5kg||106|
|3||7x3310x602||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||1||58.5kg||105|
|4||6x990x2155||MOUNT NEBO||Allan Denham||Jason Collett||4||58.5kg||93|
|5||00×9645762||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||Paul Perry||Christian Reith||7||58.5kg||90|
|6||7710x3600x||TYCOON TARA||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||6||56.5kg||95|
|7||1x1121x||CAPITALIST||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||3||51.5kg||101|