The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s Magic Millions Classic winning filly Away Game will continue her bid towards a Golden Slipper run in the autumn jumping favourite in this Saturday’s 2020 Widden Stakes at Royal Randwick.
The Expressway Stakes Day meeting has been transferred from Rosehill Gardens to Randwick due to the extreme heat conditions in Sydney and kicking off the card is the Group 3 $160,000 Widden Stakes (1100m).
The heat wave has seen connections of the two-year-olds shy away from a run this weekend with the Widden Stakes field attracting just five young fillies.
Drawn the outside barrier with jockey Tom Marquand to ride is the punters’ pick, Snitzel filly Away Game chasing a third win on the trot.
After a fourth on debut at Sandown last November, the bonny bay has posted back-to-back wins this summer in Queensland including her big two length upset at $26 odds in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast.
She won’t be found at anywhere near that price for her Sydney debut on the weekend, Away Game heading Widden Stakes betting at a current quote of $2.15 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Long term plans this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival are a shot at the $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21, but first the filly needs to boost her eligible prize money to make the field for the world’s richest juveniles’ race.
“We originally planned to give her one run into the Slipper but without the prize money counting for the Magic Millions, she only has about $80,000,” the stable’s Sydney representative Annabel Neasham told AAP this week.
“If she wins this on the weekend then she probably ensures herself a spot on prize money and then we can decide if she goes straight into the Slipper or if she runs again.”
Capitalist (2016) was the first Magic Millions Classic – Golden Slipper double winners since Phelan Ready (2009), a feat Away Game is looking to emulate this season.
Mossfun (2014) was the last filly to complete the Widden Stakes – Golden Slipper double six years ago.
Close second elect in the Widden Stakes on Saturday is the lightly raced Philizzy ($3.30) prepared by Anthony Cummings.
Another daughter of champion sire Snitzel, she comes off a narrow win on debut over 1150m at Randwick’s Kensington track and will be fitter for that run improving from a nice gate here.
Trainer Chris Waller won the Widden Stakes two years ago with Fiesta (2018) and returns with two chances in 2020 saddling-up maidens Centimental ($4.60) and September Run ($7.50) in barriers three and four respectively.
Godolphin have the roughie of the race with the James Cummings-trained In Flanders ($11) drawn the rails as the Group 3 performed daughter of Exceed And Excel chases her first win at career start number three.
In Flanders could prove the value punt in the Widden Stakes boasting form around the Golden Slipper favourite Cellsabeel, albeit was a distant six lengths back second to her on Heavy going at Rosehill on January 18.
2020 Widden Stakes Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight|
|1||411||AWAY GAME||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Tom Marquand||5||57.5kg|
|2||1||PHILIZZY||Anthony Cummings||Christian Reith||2||56kg|
|3||5×2||IN FLANDERS||James Cummings||Jason Collett||1||54.5kg|
|4||2||CENTIMENTAL||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||3||54.5kg|
|5||0||SEPTEMBER RUN||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||4||54.5kg|
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