A field full of Sydney Cup 2017 bound stayers will face off at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday including the Chris Waller-trained favourite for both the Group 1 and the Sky High Stakes, Antonio Giuseppe.
Running as Race 5 at 3:00pm (AEDT) on the Coolmore Classic Day card, this year’s $350,000 Group 3 McGrath Estate Agents Sky High Stakes (2000m) features a final field of nine hopefuls.
Odds-on favourite in Sky High Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and the $6 top fancy in futures betting for next month’s Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick is Waller’s Shocking four-year-old Antonio Giuseppe.
The Kiwi import is bred to stay and has enjoyed six wins and a second from ten career runs to date.
The second was a nice effort in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney last October before the up-and-comer won first-up over 1500m at Rosehill on February 18.
Antonio Giuseppe is back up in grade this weekend, but drops from 59kg to 55kg in the Sky High Stakes and looks hard to beat in barrier five with Tye Angland retaining the ride.
Waller dominates the Sky High Stakes field with a further three runners who will only improve the more metres they get.
The 2015 Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal, runner-up that autumn Who Shot Thebarman who is also a previous Melbourne Cup placegetter and last year’s Sydney Cup runner-up Libran round out the Waller contingent.
Grand Marshal is the $31 roughie of the Sky High Stakes hopes from the stable drawn in barrier one, while Who Shot Thebarman ($10) and Libran ($11) shape-up as livewire chances at double-figures.
Libran is also the other shortest-priced of the runners in all-in Sydney Cup odds paying $8 to go one better than last autumn.
After Antonio Giuseppe the other best in Sky High Stakes betting are the Crown Oaks winning filly Lasqueti Spirit ($8.50) and the reigning ATC Derby champion Tavago ($9) drawn in barriers four and three respectively.
The Lee Curtis-trained Beneteau filly Lasqueti Spirit scored the upset Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) victory at Flemington last year as a $101 roughie in her all-the-way, three and three-quarter length win over Harlow Gold.
She proved that was no fluke second-up at Randwick a fortnight ago when second best behind the superstar mare Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
The gun three-year-old will be fitter third-up and will also relish the step-up in distance for the Sky High Stakes run from gate four with Jay Ford aboard.
Prepared by Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young, Tavistock four-year-old Tavago is another Chipping Norton Stakes graduate having run a mid-field fifth in the mile showdown.
Saturday marks his first run at Rosehill, but he is another that will eat up the extra metres having won the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) over the mile and a half last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Outside of the odds-on favourite it is a wide open edition of the Sky High Stakes with the other key chances shaping-up as the John O’Shea-trained Magic Hurricane ($10) chasing his first win since the 2015 The Metropolitan and early market mover Red Excitement ($12).
See below for the full Sky High Stakes 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.