Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Sydney racing on Saturday is headlined by a double shot of Group 1 betting including on the 2017 Epsom Handicap, a comprehensive form guide analysis and betting previous on the Randwick classic detailed below.
The field for this year’s Group 1 $1 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) is down to a dozen starters after two earlier withdrawals from Randwick Race 7 due to jump at 4:00pm (AEST) on AFL Grand Final Day.
The Lindsay Park stable have opted to save He’s Our Rokkii for a Melbourne run on Sunday in Caulfield’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), while the Bjorn Baker-trained Embley will run earlier on Saturday in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (1800m).
Updated Epsom Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au firmly favour a win from the 57kg top weight Happy Clapper who has been backed in from $3.60 to $2.90.
Favourites in Epsom Handicap betting have saluted just twice since 2006, but all the money is on Pat Webster’s seven-year-old to get the job done after the brave second to Winx in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) a fortnight back.
If Happy Clapper struggles under the top kilos the dangers in the Epsom Handicap odds all come from the Chris Waller stable.
Waller has prepared three of the past four Epsom Handicap winners and returns with a five strong contingent on Saturday including the rails-drawn Egg Tart ($6), gun four-year-old Comin’ Through ($7.50) carrying only 51kg, the widely-drawn Tom Melbourne ($7.50) and a Group 1 winner in the autumn Foxplay ($9.50).
2017 Epsom Handicap Form Facts & Betting Stats
- Last year’s Epsom Handicap winner was the Godolphin-raced Hauraki who improved off a lead-up second in the George Main Stakes, jumped from barrier 10 (of 13) and had James McDonald in the saddle
- That lead-up Epsom Handicap form holds for this year’s favourite #1 Happy Clapper who comes off the second to Winx in the George Main Stakes two weeks ago
- Along with Hauraki (2016) the other recent Epsom Handicap champions to come off a lead-up run in the George Main Stakes were Rock Kingdom (6th in 2009), Theseo (2nd in 2008) and Racing To Win (1st in 2006) who did the double
- The other George Main Stakes graduates along with Happy Clapper (2nd) in the Epsom Handicap field this weekend are: Foxplay (3rd), McCreery (4th) and Red Excitement (7th)
- Three of the past four Epsom Handicap winners came off a lead-up win
- The last start winners in the mix this year are: #8 Zanbagh (Group 3 Tibbie Stakes, 1400m, Newcastle, 15/09/2017) and #11 Comin’ Through (Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap, 1400m, Randwick, 16/09/2017)
- #11 Comin’ Through is out to complete the Bill Ritchie – Epsom Handicap double last achieved by the also Waller-trained Boban (2013)
- Golden Sword (1993) was the last Epsom Handicap winner to come off a non-Sydney lead-up
- The Melbourne graduates looking to break the hoodoo in 2017 are: #7 I Am A Star and #12 Savile Row, #13 Snitzon
- #1 Happy Clapper is out to be just the third Epsom Handicap favourite since Racing To Win (2006) to salute for the punters joining Fat Al (2012) and Winx (2015)
- Trainer Chris Waller has prepared three of the past four Epsom Handicap winners and is back this year with five hopefuls: #2 Foxplay ($9.50), #6 McCreery ($16), #9 Tom Melbourne ($7.50), #10 Egg Tart ($6) and #11 Comin’ Through ($7.50)
- The only other previous Epsom Handicap winning trainer with a runner on Saturday is Gerald Ryan with #5 Red Excitement ($15)
- The past Epsom Handicap winning jockeys with a ride on the weekend are: Blake Shinn on #1 Happy Clapper, Hugh Bowman on #2 Foxplay, Corey Brown on #3 Sound Proposition, Brenton Avdulla on #5 Red Excitement, Tommy Berry on #6 McCreery, Joao Moreira on #11 Comin’ Through and three-time winning hoop Glen Boss on #9 Tom Melbourne
- Since 2002 just one Epsom Handicap winner – Rock Kingdom (George Main 6th in 2009) – finished worse than fourth in their final lead-up race; this year that rules out: #5 Red Excitement, #7 I Am A Star, #12 Savile Row and #13 Snitzon
- Since 2005 just one Epsom Handicap winner took the race out at double-figures, Captain Sonador ($15 in 2010)
- Along with this year’s top fancy #1 Happy Clapper ($2.90) the other single-figure chances in the Epsom Handicap odds are: #10 Egg Tart ($6), #9 Tom Melbourne ($7.50), #11 Comin’ Through ($7.50) and #2 Foxplay ($9.50) who are all trained by Chris Waller
- Mares have won just two editions of the Epsom Handicap (since 1983) with Secret Admirer (2011) and Winx (2015) beating home the boys
- The mares in this year’s Epsom Handicap field are: #2 Foxplay, #7 I Am A Star, #8 Zanbagh and #10 Egg Tart
- Barrier 10 has produced three of the past four Epsom Handicap winners and belongs on Saturday to #11 Comin’ Through (12 into 10)
- Seven of the past nine Epsom Handicap winners jumped from barrier 10 or wider
- Four-year-olds have dominated the Epsom Handicap results including seven wins in the past decade
- The 4YOs in the Epsom Handicap 2017 are: #2 Foxplay, #7 I Am A Star, #10 Egg Tart, #11 Comin’ Through, #12 Savile Row and #13 Snitzon
- The highest Win Rate of the field belongs to #10 Egg Tart (67%) followed by #11 Comin’ Through (44%)
- The best Place Rate of the field also belongs to #10 Egg Tart (89%) followed by #11 Comin’ Through (78%)
- The horses with the best winning form at the Randwick track are: #1 Happy Clapper (14-4-3-1), #5 Red Excitement (12-4-1-0), #2 Foxplay (7-3-2-1), #3 Sound Proposition (2-2-0-0) and #11 Comin’ Through (5-2-1-1)
- The horses with the best winning form over the mile distance are: #3 Sound Proposition (9-5-1-0), #5 Red Excitement (7-3-2-0), #6 McCreery (9-3-3-0), #1 Happy Clapper (7-2-3-1), #7 I Am A Star (5-2-1-1), #8 Zanbagh (9-2-1-0) and #10 Egg Tart (2-2-0-0)
Stay tuned for our exclusive Epsom Handicap 2017 tips, checking out the full race form guide below in the meantime courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.
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