Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Chris Waller’s proven wet-track mare Verry Elleegant is the early 2020 Apollo Stakes betting market mover for Saturday’s feature race at Royal Randwick.
The heavy rainfall in Sydney may be easing, but the Randwick track remains a Heavy (8) ahead of the weekend’s racing making it ideal conditions for the mudlarks in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) field.
Ten weight-for-age hopefuls are in the mix including Zed four-year-old Verry Elleegant racing for the first time since her disappointing 12th behind Japanese star Lys Gracieux in last October’s Group 1 $5 million Cox Plate (2040m).
Winner of the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) as a three-year-old earlier that year, Verry Elleegant is undefeated on Heavy tracks.
Last March she won the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) back-to-back at Rosehill on Heavy going leading up to her Oaks success.
Two-from-four at the Randwick track, Verry Elleegant is racing over short of her preferred distance on the weekend, but fresh on a rain affected track she looks a genuine winning hope.
The punters agree with early money coming for the mare who has been backed in from $6 to $5.50 in Apollo Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Waller chases his sixth Apollo Stakes victory and his fifth on the trot following the recent three-peat of Winx (2016, 2017 and 2019) and that of Endless Drama (2018).
The mares also have an outstanding Apollo Stakes record with seven saluting from 2009 – 2019 further boosting the credentials of Verry Elleegant.
The hot favourite at short Apollo Stakes odds of $3.10 (out from $3) meanwhile is fellow mare Alizee.
The Godolphin-raced daughter of Sepoy is a well-bred five-year-old with an equally impressive record.
She sits just shy of $3 million in career prize money and is second-up on the back of her second to gun three-year-old Standout as the beaten favourite in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1400m) a fortnight back.
A triple Group 1 champion whose last elite level success was in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) in Melbourne last autumn, Alizee won the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) on this day two years ago.
Fitter for the Expressway run, the James Cummings-trained favourite is out to be the seventh in 11 years to salute for the punters.
The two other runners under double figures for the win are then the returning duo of Dreamforce ($3.40) and Happy Clapper ($5) drawn in barriers six and four respectively.
Last year’s Doncaster Mile runner-up, the John Thompson-trained Dreamforce is a seven-year-old son of Fastnet Rock who has an excellent strike-rate at Randwick (11:5-2-) and over the 1400m distance (10:6-2-1).
A first-up flyer, Dreamforce has finished out of the money just twice in his nine previous runs fresh (9:4-2-1) and looks set for another big run off two winning Randwick trials this summer.
He won the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at the track and distance last September defeating Te Akau Shark by three lengths before a second to Avilius in the Group 1 George Main Stakes 91600m).
His Epsom run when 17th to Kolding can be forgiven from the wide gate (19 of 19) and he was far from disgraced last start when under a length back fifth in The Valley’s Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) on Cox Plate Day.
Happy Clapper is the cult horse in the race, Pat Webster’s rising 10-year-old having won over $7.2 million in prize money over an illustrious career that includes plenty of clashes with the champion Winx.
Second to her in last year’s Apollo Stakes, the evergreen veteran is out to go one better in his first run since beating Tally home to win the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) here last October.
2020 Apollo Stakes Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x2284x231x||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Tommy Berry||4||59kg||118|
|2||8132x1205x||DREAMFORCE||John Thompson||Nash Rawiller||6||59kg||113|
|3||211112617x||COME PLAY WITH ME||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||5||59kg||109|
|4||124x03374x||LIFE LESS ORDINARY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||7||59kg||108|
|5||x16621816x||HUSH WRITER (JPN)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Rachel King||2||59kg||105|
|6||511x65800x||ANGEL OF TRUTH||Gwenda Markwell||Glen Boss||8||59kg||101|
|7||44×6012325||GLENALL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jamie Spencer||9||59kg||100|
|8||306x1374x2||ALIZEE||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||1||57kg||115|
|9||2111x9410x||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||3||57kg||111|
|10||5237x5955x||DANZDANZDANCE||Chris Waller||Tom Marquand||10||57kg||107|
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