Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
Melbourne’s Newmarket Handicap on Super Saturday may be host to the bulk of the season’s top sprinters but in Sydney Redzel is the one to beat in Randwick’s Challenge Stakes 2018 tips and betting odds.
Last time out Peter & Paul Snowden’s champion son of Snitzel went down in a shock late upset to Redkirk Warrior in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington.
This weekend Redkirk Warrior stays at HQ shooting for back-to-back wins in the Group 1 $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m), while connections of The Everest winner Redzel have brought him back to Sydney for an easier assignment in the Group 2 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Challenge Stakes (1000m).
The short-distance sprint feature on Randwick Guineas Day originally drew nine horses but the line-up is down to just eight after the early withdrawal of Ball Of Muscle who is still on track for a shot at Rosehill’s Group 1 $700,000 The Galaxy (1100m) on Golden Slipper Day (March 24).
Looking to return to the stellar form that saw him salute in six straight wins last time in, including the aforementioned The Everest (1200m) at Randwick and the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington, Redzel ($1.55) is odds-on favourite in the Challenge Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
He will be fitter for his shock first-up loss when run down in the dying stages by a first-up Flemington specialist and from barrier three in this small field it really is hard to see Redzel going down.
There are two other single-figure hopefuls in the Challenge Stakes betting markets with the honest Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained mare English ($5.50) who is undefeated over the distance (3:3-0-0) and early market mover Viridine ($9 into $7) running for the first time since his fifth to Merchant Navy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
So will Redzel salute for the punters or is there an upset Challenge Stakes 2018 result pending?
#1 Redzel ($1.55)
There’s no value tipping an odds-on favourite but there’s nowhere else to go in this race. They said he wouldn’t be beaten first-up but he was. This time though there’s no beating Redzel as he returns to Randwick, a track the $7.9 million earner has enjoyed five wins and two placings from eight starts over. Good 1000m form (6:2-3-0) including that close loss in a much tougher race first-up and he has great form second-up (6:2-2-1). Only faces seven rivals, gets things his way from barrier three and is a better horse than these.
#7 Super Too ($26)
Big odds on offer for Super Too after Marc Conners’ Hinchinbrook mare ran a distant ninth beating home only one rival first-up in the Lightning Stakes. Happy to forgive the four-year-old for that and give her another chance over this distance (8:5-1-0) in easier company. Will appreciate the give out of the track having a two-from-three record on Soft going and with the cut out of the ground she can get right up on the pace early and give Redzel something to chase.
#2 Terravista ($14)
Terravista is a multiple Group 1 winning sprinters and another out to atone for an unplaced Lighting Stakes run (8th) first-up. Joe Pride’s galloper has a pretty hit-and-miss record of late, but he was runner-up to Redzel in the Darley Classic in the spring at a big price and has a strong record when at his best at Randwick (9:5-0-1). Better chance than he is tipped at with Hugh Bowman in the saddle and is also better suited to the rain-affected going.
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