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Chris Waller’s Group 1 performed galloper Mackintosh is the firming favourite in Hill Stakes 2017 betting to break a notable winning drought in the Royal Randwick clash on Saturday.
The field for this year’s Group 2 $500,000 Hill Stakes (1800m) is down to just nine hopefuls following the early withdrawal of Red Excitement who instead runs over the mile in the meeting’s Group 1 $1 million Epsom Handicap field.
Pins gelding Mackintosh ran third to Hauraki in last year’s Epsom Handicap results, but is given an easier assignment over more metres this season in the Hill Stakes.
It has been a long time between drinks for the five-year-old who hasn’t won since the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) that he took out before the Epsom 12 months ago.
He has been competitive in a number of races since, but is tipped to return to his best sitting top of the Hill Stakes odds at a quote of $3 (in from $3.50) through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Mackintosh reunites with Brazilian hoop Joao Moreira for the first time since his close Cantala Stakes fifth behind Le Romain in Melbourne last Cup Carnival and jumps from barrier six.
He is third-up on the weekend and looking to improve on his last start fifth behind his star stablemate Winx as a $71 roughie in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at fortnight ago.
Waller has an imposing recent record in the Hill Stakes preparing three of the past four winners with Moriarty (2013), Junoob (2014) and Preferment (2015).
Close second favourite in the Hill Stakes betting markets paying $4.20 and drawn well in gate four is the Kris Lees-trained Sense Of Occasion.
Corey Brown continues his association with the Street Sense seven-year-old second-up after the gelding was also thrashed by the world’s best mare Winx last time out.
Sense Of Occasion, winner of the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane over the winter, resumed on September 2 and finished eighth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
He looks set to appreciate the extra distance of the Hill Stakes having won up to a mile and a half (2400m) and his class has been further proven by Group 1 runs like his back-to-back thirds in the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the autumn on successive Saturdays.
In an open market a further four spring staying types are under $10 to take out the Hill Stakes in 2017, the race won last year by subsequent Cox Plate (2nd) and Melbourne Cup (3rd) placegetter Hartnell.
The bookies are having a hard time splitting Godolphin’s last start Cameron Handicap third placegetter at Newcastle Spectroscope ($7.50) and the autumn’s ATC Oaks runner-up Perfect Rhyme ($7.50), while there could be value tipping the Gary Moore-trained Classic Uniform ($9) for an upset.
See below for the full Hill Stakes 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Hill Stakes Field, Barriers & Odds
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