The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Matthew Dunn’s consistent Snitzel gelding Snitz is the current favourite in Ramornie Handicap 2020 betting for Wednesday’s feature race on the opening day of the Grafton Cup Carnival.
The Clarence River Jockey Club’s premier sprint, the Listed $200,000 GDSC Ramornie Handicap (1200m) has drawn a capacity field of short distance specialists led in betting by Snitz who is trained at Murwillumbah by Dunn.
Undefeated at Grafton having won both his previous starts at the track, the five-year-old has won four of his past five starts going back to last November.
Two back he took out Randwick’s Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) carrying 54kg before going up to 56kg on June 6 back at the track for a close third when under a length beaten by Classique Legend in the Listed June Stakes (1100m).
For the Ramornie Snitz rises in weight again carrying 59kg with Matthew McGuren booked for the ride from a nice barrier six draw as Dunn chases his first Grafton Cup Carnival feature race win.
“The Ramornie and Grafton Cup are the two pinnacle races in our area,” Dunn told AAP this week.
“I’d love to win it. We obviously support northern rivers racing more than anywhere else and we haven’t won a Cup or a Ramornie.
“It would be pretty good to get one.”
Despite being allocated the equal top-weight, Snitz remains the favourite in Ramornie Handicap betting paying $4 though Ladbrokes.com.au.
Two other runners follow closely in the markets with Hightail and Southern Lad paying Ramornie Handicap odds of $6 and $6.50 respectively.
The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Hightail takes on the older horses in the Ramornie this winter, the Written Tycoon three-year-old coming up trumps with barrier four.
A winner of five of his 15 starts, he has an excellent record over the distance (11:4-3-1) and enjoyed back-to-back races earlier this prep including a narrow victory in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m).
He was stretched in class and distance next up a month ago when 12th to Tyzone in Brisbane’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), but was still only 3.6 lengths off the winner.
After a freshen-up Hightail looks a genuine hope in the Ramornie back to the 1200m with Glen Boss to ride.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden chases his fourth Ramornie Handicap win having prepared back-to-back winners in 2010-11 with Pinwheel and Jerezana before partnering with his son Paul in 2017 with Calanda.
Team Snowden also saddle-up four-year-old Exceed And Excel entire Signore Fox from barrier two in the Ramornie Handicap field on Wednesday as a $16 chance.
Coming into the race on the back of an excellent campaign of top three runs, the John O’Shea-trained Southern Lad also looks well-weighted for the midweek feature.
The Ocean Park five-year-old is set to carry 55.5kg with Rachel King in the saddle, King having ridden the horse for his second in the June Stakes two back.
Last start Southern Lad had 56kg and J Mac aboard on a Heavy (9) Randwick track when third in the Winter Dash and he will appreciate the drop-in weight and a track in the Soft range this week.
Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds has won the past two editions of the Ramornie Handicap with dual champion Havasay (2018-19).
He returns in partnership with his son Trent in 2020 with the in-form Mr Bellagio who comes off a hat-trick of wins.
Grant Buckley comes aboard the 54kg light weight who was last seen winning by over five lengths over 1400m in the wet at his home Gold Coast track back in May.
The six-year-old son of O’Lonhro is back in distance, which looks the only query on the Ramornie, and presents as a nice chance fresh.
Mr Bellagio is also the early Ramornie Handicap market mover backed in from $21 to $15 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
The other best in betting at $9.50 for the win is then the Godolphin-raced Haunted in gate five with Andrew Adkins aboard the Lonhro gelding.
The James Cummings-trained five-year-old chases his first win since a Black-Type sprint at Caulfield last October, but has been in good form over the winter.
His last two runs produced back-to-back seconds over 1400m at Flemington carrying big weights, the last seeing him only a neck beaten with 60kg making his task over the 1200m with 57kg a manageable one up in grade.
2020 Ramornie Handicap Field & Barriers
|Peter & Paul Snowden
|Peter & Paul Snowden
|IN GOOD TIME
|Ms Belinda Hodder
|Ms Rachel King
|Toby & Trent Edmonds
|WHAT COULD BE
*Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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