The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
A field of end-of-autumn staying types run in the Japan Racing Association Plate 2017 field at Royal Randwick on Saturday including the early favourite in the JRA Plate odds Astronomos.
Drawn the rails with Craig Williams to ride the John Thompson-trained six-year-old, Astronomos is one of thirteen horses in the mix for the $150,000 Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m).
Also known as the JRA Plate, the handicap clash is set to run as Randwick Race 5 at 2:25pm (AEST) on the nine-race All Aged Stakes Day program that brings an end to Group 1 racing this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Two back Astronomos enjoyed a Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) win over the same track and distance as this weekend’s Group 3, defeating Café Society by nearly four lengths.
Last time out the galloper finished under a length away second at Rosehill in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m), Astronomos given the chance to go one better returning to Randwick on Saturday and dropping back from 55kg to 53.5kg.
Currently the horse sits top of Japan Racing Association Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.60 for the win.
Close second elect in the JRA Plate markets at $4.60 is the widely-drawn New Tipperary with the outside barrier (13) to overcome.
Brenton Avdulla rides the Joe Pride-trained High Chaparral four-year-old who is down in grade after an unplaced Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) run on April 1 from barrier 16 of 20.
New Tipperary was far from disgraced in the Doncaster crossing seventh behind the winner It’s Somewhat on the back of a second to the same horse in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m).
With winning form up to 1900m, the gelding is tipped to enjoy the step up in distance and step down in class on the weekend despite another wide barrier.
A further two horses sit at single-figures in the current Japan Racing Association Plate odds with Green Sweet and Happy Hannah equal at $8.
Green Sweet is prepared by Goulburn-based Jean Dubois and comes off a win in the Listed Albury Gold Cup (2000m) in late March.
The French import races at Randwick for the first time in just his third official run down under and is well weighted, getting in on 53kg with his last start winning jockey Johan Victoire retaining the ride.
Peter & Paul Snowden’s four-year-old More Than Ready mare Happy Hannah is also on the 53kg minimum on Saturday, Kerrin McEvoy replacing Regan Bayliss in the saddle.
Happy Hannah hasn’t won a race since March last year over the Warwick Farm mile and comes off two unplaced runs this season including a last start seventh to Zanbagh in Rosehill’s Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m).
The extra meters will suit on Saturday and Zanbagh franked the Emancipation Stakes form with her brave second to the filly Foxplay in last Saturday’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).
Other key chances include the early market mover Big Blue ($10) from France on debut in Australia for Godolphin, the Helen Page-trained Rudy ($12) and Sons Of John ($12) out to improve on a 13th in the Doncaster Mile a fortnight back.
Check out the full 2017 JRA Plate field, barriers, jockeys, weights and the latest Fixed Win odds below – prices courtesy of [ladborkes].
2017 Japan Racing Association Field & Betting
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