The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The 2019 Missile Stakes field has drawn a diminutive but classy line-up of just five early spring hopefuls with star mare Alizee odds-on at $1.50 to take out the Rosehill Gardens sprint.
Due to run as Rosehill Race 4 at 1:40pm on Saturday afternoon, the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) marks the new season return of the Godolphin-raced daughter of Sepoy Alizee who is a noted first-up performer.
The five-year-old chases her first victory since becoming a three-time Group 1 champion in February’s Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Prior to that the James Cummings-trained Alizee saluted first-up in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) defeating Le Romain by two lengths at the same track and distance as the Missile Stakes this weekend.
Warming up for her return, the $2.27 million earner has had two smart trials including a Randwick win over 900m on July 30.
She may be first-up after a 17 week spell but that trial showed Alizee was ready to return to her best and has Hall of Fame hoop Hugh Bowman – of Winx fame – booked for the Missile Stakes in another plus.
“Alizee’s was able to win the Expressway Stakes with authority first-up last preparation,” Cummings told The Daily Telegraph this week.
“So, we expect her to put in a strong showing where her track and distance record is impressive.”
A good performance from Alizee first-up will also boost her credentials as the sprinter to fill Godolphin’s slot in the $14 million The Everest (1200m) this October.
“We will be targeting the sprints with her this spring with an obvious eye on The Everest,” Cummings said.
“That said, we are reserving the opportunity to make a decision on that until later in her preparation.”
The danger in Missile Stakes betting at $3.80 is the horse that finished behind her in the Expressway Stakes earlier in the year, the Kris Lees-trained Le Romain.
Another multiple Group 1 winner, it has been 16 weeks between runs for the Hard Spun seven-year-old who has finished out of the money just once in his eight previous first-up performances (8:3-3-1).
Le Romain has also had two led-up trials at Newcastle and Wyong and jockey James McDonald continues his association in the Missile Stakes having ridden the horse in six of his past 10 starts.
Among those runs were a first-up Group 3 win at Randwick in August last year and two subsequent Group 1 placings that campaign when second to Winx in the George Main Stakes and second in the Cantala Stakes at Flemington last Cup Carnival.
Vegadaze is the other standout Missile Stakes acceptor paying $6.50 to salute from barrier five of five after an eye-catching Gosford trial on August 5.
The Anthony Cummings-trained Lope De Vega gelding has his first run as a four-year-old on the weekend after a strong three-year-old campaign that included a second to The Autumn Sun in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
He also finished fifth behind the same horse in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in March when four lengths beaten over the mile.
Lees’ other runner Invincible Gem ($11) who won this race in 2017 when it took place at Randwick and the Grant Allard-trained triple-figure roughie Dissolute ($151) round-out this year’s Missile Stakes field.
Visit Ladbrokes.com.au now for the updated Missile Stakes 2019 field and odds along with the top early spring racing offers.
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