The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Godolphin’s Group 1 winner Microphone is tipped to beat home a small field of fellow three-year-olds second-up on Saturday at Caulfield leading markets on the Autumn Stakes 2020.
The field is down to just nine runners in this season’s Group 2 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) following the early withdrawal of the widely-drawn Wilmot Pass (10).
Damian Lane partners the James Cummings-trained son of Exeed And Excel, the colt having finished out of the money just once in his eight career starts to date.
Boasting a 50% winning strike rate, Microphone is best known for improving on his Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes second in the wet last autumn to win the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
He defeated Loving Gaby that day, the filly subsequently franking the form with a string of big runs including her Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) win over the older horses at The Valley on Cox Plate Eve and her Group 1 VRC Classic (1200m) second to Nature Strip over the Cup Carnival.
Microphone meanwhile comes off a first-up sixth at Moonee Valley behind dual Group 1 winner Scales Of Justice – favourite for the CF Orr Stakes this weekend – in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m).
He was under three lengths beaten, is back in grade against his own age and looks hard to beat even giving the weight away to his rivals.
“Microphone’s first-up run in the Australia Stakes was pleasing and he clearly demonstrated that he was looking for further,” Cummings told AAP this week.
“He got going again late and the 1400 metres here will be more suitable.”
Three other runners join Microphone at single-figures in the Autumn Stakes betting markets including the $4.60 second elect Adelaide Ace.
A younger stablemate of the CF Orr favourite Scales Of Justice, the Lindsey Smith-trained Savabeel gelding has had five runs for three wins and a second in easier company.
His last start on January 19 produced a big two and a quarter-length victory in a BenchMark 64 over the 1400m distance at Werribee when carrying 60.5kg.
Adelaide Ace then looks well-positioned for his shot in a Group 2 on CF Orr Day coming back down to 57kg in gate three.
Following closely at $4.80 is then the potential value runner, Banquo for Danny O’Brien.
Damien Oliver is back aboard the smart Written Tycoon colt after riding him to a first-up third at Flemington on January 18.
Banquo was only two lengths off the winner Alabama Express who takes on Scales Of Justice in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Saturday’s meeting.
Prior to that, Banquo caught the eye when under a length back fourth to Pretty Brazen in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1400m) and second-up over the 1400m looks ideal.
Rounding out the runners under $10 is then the in-form Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Savvy Lad racing first-up down under.
Ben Melham rides the Kiwi expat in the Autumn Stakes field as the Savabeel gelding makes both his Australian and Black-Type debut.
2020 Autumn Stakes Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||121121x3x6||MICROPHONE||James Cummings||Damian Lane||2||59.5kg||105|
|2||01141x||THE HOLY ONE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ms Linda Meech||6||58.5kg||82|
|3||75x2114x3||BANQUO||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||5||58kg||73|
|4||77×2311||ZERO DOUBT||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Noel Callow||7||57kg||68|
|5||55x22x2122||WEDGETAIL||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||9||57kg||66|
|6||2115×1||ADELAIDE ACE (NZ)||Lindsey Smith||John Allen||3||57kg||73|
|7||14x5x313||WILMOT PASS||Anthony Freedman||Mark Zahra||10||57kg||68|
|8||2211x||SAVVY LAD (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ben Melham||8||57kg||70|
|9||31x||LEGION OF MERIT (NZ)||Mitchell Freedman||Jye McNeil||1||57kg||62|
|10||x5913x70x8||LADY LUPINO||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||4||55kg||75|
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