The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained mare English has opened short favourite in the 2016 The Shorts betting to win first-up at Randwick Racecourse this weekend.
The now four-year-old daughter of Encosta De Lago is one of 11 runners set to face off on George Main Stakes Day this Saturday in the $200,000 Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) over the sprint distance.
Drawn out wide in barrier 10 with Tommy Berry booked for the ride, English was last seen winning the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at the track in mid-August.
She did a stellar job defeating Black Heart Bart in that autumn elite level and has since won back-to-back Randwick trials leading up to her new season debut.
Boasting a strong record of three wins and a third from five runs at the course to date, English is clear favourite in The Shorts odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.40 and firming.
She has been backed in early from $2.70 to defend her flawless first-up record (2-2-0-0), with the short-distance the only test as she runs over 1100m for the first time since a sixth to Griante in the Group 1 The Galaxy at Rosehill in March.
Before that however she saluted at Randwick in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m), so resuming over the 1100m shouldn’t be an issue this weekend.
It is an open market outside the favourite with a further five single-figure hopes including the also resuming Clearly Innocent ($6) drawn one inside of English with barrier nine.
Brenton Avdulla is booked for the returning run of the Greg Bennett-trained Not A Single Doubt gelding, five-year-old Clearly Innocent having on his five most recent starts going back to the summer.
He saluted in Black-Type company last start at home in Scone’s Listed Luskin Star Handicap (1300m) in mid-May, and is two-from-three over Saturday’s distance.
The next best at an equal $8.50 are the Chris Waller-trained Group 1 winner Japonisme and Kaepernick drawn in barriers four and two respectively.
Hugh Bowman partners the 58kg top weight Japonisme, the Choisir four-year-old out to improve on a first-up sixth in the wet here on September 3 in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m).
The extra 100m and a firmer track are big pluses for last November’s Coolmore Stud Stakes champ who over 1100m has had four runs for a trio of wins and a second.
Kaepernick represents the Hawkes Racing stable, the Fastnet Rock five-year-old last seen running a distant 11th to Under The Louvre in Brisbane’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in the winter.
The gelding has trialled twice since in Sydney for a second and a third at Rosehill and Warwick Farm respectively, and historically performs well fresh (5-2-1-0).
He has also won two of his three previous starts over 1100m, including the Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) by over two lengths on May 14 at Scone.
Rounding out the hopes under $10 for the win are the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained multiple Group 1 placegetter Dothraki ($9) and the rails-drawn distance specialist Ball Of Muscle ($9.50) for Joe Pride who will need to work to stay out of trouble from the inside alley at Randwick.
See below for the full The Shorts 2016 betting markets, Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au who have the top George Main Stakes promotion running on this weekend’s Sydney Group 1.