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It is the opening Group 2 race of the new season but the Missile Stakes 2019 at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday has attracted just eight nominations including early odds-on favourite Alizee.
Racing NSW have extended the entries for this year’s Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) until 11am on Tuesday after the weight-for-age sprint drew dismal numbers.
The James Cummings-trained daughter of Sepoy will race first-up in the Missile Stakes field if accepted on the back of two lead-up Sydney trials including a 900m win at Randwick on July 30.
Alizee has already won over $2.27 million in prize money thanks to three Group 1 wins to date, the latest of which was the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in late February.
That followed on from her brilliant two length win first-up in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill, the same track and distance she is set to resume over on Saturday.
“She’s had a couple of really nice public hit-outs at the trials and she is going to be really ready to go in the Missile provided she continues to have a good week,” Cummings told Sky Sports Radio.
The early danger in pre-field Missile Stakes betting according is Le Romain ($3.80) who Alizee beat home in the Expressway Stakes during the autumn.
Kris Lees’ Hard Spun seven-year-old is a four-time runner-up from six runs at Rosehill Gardens and has an excellent record fresh (8:3-3-1).
It has been a long time between drinks for the galloper however whose last turf triumph was first-up at Randwick in August of 2018.
Le Romain won the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) as a three-year-old way back in 2016 and has won two other Group 1 races since (2016 Cantala Stakes, 2017 Canterbury Stakes).
Six other Group 1 placings show on his ultra-consistent record and he will be looking to break the drought with an upset win in the Missile Stakes, a race he ran second behind Invincible Gem in when it took place at Randwick in 2017.
Star Newcastle horseman Lees has also nominated for his 2017 Missile Stakes winner Invincible Gem, the now six-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible boasting a 50% winning strike rate at Rosehill.
Her latest start was a 13th behind Kenedna in April’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), a run that was better than it reads on paper as she was beaten only three lengths.
That followed on from her Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) success at Rosehill in the wet and at $10 in early markets she could prove a value bet in the Missile Stakes this weekend.
The other standout nominee is Sesar ($9), the Team Hawkes-trained Sebring entire to make his four-year-old debut after running sixth as the beaten favourite in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 27.
The official Missile Stakes 2019 field and barriers will be announced on Wednesday followed by updated odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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