One of the first features at Randwick Racecourse this Saturday in Sydney is the ATC Chairman’s Handicap 2017, betting tips and the latest odds on the Sydney Cup lead-up found below.
Due to run as Randwick Race 3 at 1:20pm (AEDT) on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’, just nine stayers make up the field for this year’s $300,000 Group 2 Schweppes Chairman’s Handicap (2600m).
Red hot favourite in Chairman’s Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival paying a short $2.50 to extend his winning streak is the Darren Weir-trained Big Duke.
Drawn the rails in barrier one, the in-form son of Raven’s Pass has won his last two straight with success in the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) and then Rosehill’s Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) run on a Heavy (10) after a successful protest.
He rises up from 54kg to the 58kg top weight in the Chairman’s Handicap field, but the bookies still have him as the one to beat despite the extra kilos.
If Big Duke fails to fire under the weight the next best in the ATC Chairman’s Stakes odds this year at $4.50 is Aloft getting in on 56.5kg.
Robert Hickmott prepares the Galileo import for the Lloyd Williams’ operation and the galloper has his first Sydney run in this after an 1800m Flemington win on March 11 under 60kg.
With winning form up to two miles overseas, the mile and a half should suit Aloft on the weekend as will the drop in weight off his all-the-way win on ‘Super Saturday’.
So will the two best in betting battle it out for the Chairman’s Handicap quinella on Saturday or is there value further down the markets from the likes of market mover Polarisation ($8.50) making a raid for English trainer Charlie Appleby or the John Sargent-trained Kiwi galloper Rock On ($7)?
#7 Rock On ($7)
The Kiwis have been relishing Sydney’s wet tracks this autumn and we’re tipping that to continue with this progressive four-year-old in the Chairman’s. His last start at home produced a NZ St Leger win over 2500m on Soft going and he’ll likely handle Heavy going. Back down from 59.5kg to 55.5kg on the weekend so should be flying and is the danger at a good price.
#5 Alegria ($9.50)
If you’re looking for a wet track to get behind on likely Heavy conditions on Saturday, this John O’Shea-trained mare is it. She’s had seven goes on Heavy going for two wins and two other placings and plenty of Place form at Randwick (8-0-3-4). Has only finished out of the money here once before and is out to improve on her Group 3 fourth over 1900m at Rosehill on March 18. Will appreciate getting back to Randwick, has the ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira aboard and looks overs.
#1 Big Duke ($2.50)
Favourite has to handle a big rise in weights and he won last time out, but on protest. His run was luckless at Rosehill and he’ll be after a better go in transit here. Still a very consistent horse, drawn the rails, Craig Williams riding and from the Weir stable. Too short to win, but cannot be discounted.
Now is the time to get behind your Randwick racing tips online at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the weekend at the home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).