The penultimate event on a bumper ten race Golden Slipper Day program in Sydney on Saturday is the Epona Stakes 2017, betting on the staying race for fillies and mares currently led by the Michael Moroney-trained Vandancer.
Due to jump at 5:30pm (AEDT) as Rosehill Race 9, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Bradford Black Epona Stakes (1900m) has attracted a final field of thirteen.
The latest Epona Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have five of the runners under double-figures including Vandancer ($4.40) drawn in barrier three with Tommy Berry riding.
A four-year-old daughter of Savabeel, Vandancer comes off a brave third behind Elle Lou when beaten under a length on a Heavy (10) Randwick track in the Group 3 Aspiration Quality (1600m).
With the likelihood of another rain-affected Sydney course this weekend, Vandancer shapes up as a genuine winning chance.
She will also eat-up the extra metres having won up to 2100m and will be fitter for her run last start, which was her first in seven weeks.
Occupying the second line of Epona Stakes betting 2017 at an equal $5.50 each are the first two past the post in the Aspiration Quality – Elle Lou (1st) and Alegria (2nd).
The bookies have that mile race as the form-line to follow into Saturday, especially with similar track conditions predicted.
Chris Waller prepares five-year-old Snitzel mare Elle Lou who chases the double and her third win on the trot.
She’s got plenty of nice form at Rosehill Gardens (8-2-2-0) and Glyn Schofield retains the ride, but she has to stay out of trouble from the inside alley and goes up a half-kilo to 56kg.
The John O’Shea-trained Medaglia D’Oro five-year-old Alegria was just a quarter-length away second in the Aspiration Quality last time out.
Her other run for the year was also impressive when third to Antonio Giuseppe over 1500m at Rosehill.
This weekend she looks well-weighted on 54kg in gate four with Corey Brown aboard as she looks for her fifth straight top three Sydney finish.
Rounding out the single-figure Epona Stakes fancies are Happy Hannah ($7) and Song And Laughter ($8.50) drawn in barriers four and six respectively.
The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained More Than Ready four-year-old Happy Hannah ran third three times on the trot in the spring before returning at Flemington on March 4.
She ran sixth to Turbo Miss in that Group 3 Frances Tressady run over 1400m, but was beaten under two lengths and will appreciate getting out over more ground second-up in fitter form.
Song And Laughter represents Warwick Farm-based Richard Litt, the veteran seven-year-old a noted wet-track performer.
She’s had eight goes on Heavy ground for two wins, a second and a third and caught the eye with a nice fourth in the Aspiration Quality.
Before that she ran third in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) at Rosehill, the track and distance she returns to this weekend chasing her first win at the course from fourteen starts.
See below for the full Epona Stakes 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and current Fixed Win betting markets provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).