The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Last year’s champion Mystic Journey along with fellow mares Arcadia Queen and Savatiano are tipped to dominate the P.B. Lawrence Stakes 2020 on Saturday leading the field and early betting on the Caulfield feature.
Set to run as Race 8 at 4:35pm (AEST), this season’s Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) field has attracted a star-studded line-up of 11.
The weight-for-age clash, considered a key Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival lead-up into the majors including the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup, was won last season by Adam Trinder’s record-breaking mare from Tassie Mystic Journey.
The inaugural $5 million The All-Star Mile winner from 2019, Mystic Journey races first-up on the weekend looking for her first victory since winning last year’s P.B. Lawrence Stakes.
Her subsequent four runs in the past 12 months have all been in Group 1 company and include the Cox Plate fifth to Lys Gracieux.
She should enjoy the step back in grade, although the field is top-class on Saturday, and is a noted first-up performer (5:3-0-0).
Mystic Journey is two from three at Caulfield and undefeated (3:3-0-0) over the 1400m, plus has looked the goods in two winter trials back home including a win on the synthetic from July 28 over 1009.
Drawn in barrier nine with Billy Egan to ride, the Tasmanian star is at current P.B. Lawrence Stakes odds of $4 through Ladbrokes.com.au to go back-to-back in the race since Tauto (1971-72).
The two key dangers looking at the latest markets are the early mover Savatiano ($5.50 into $4.80) for Godolphin and the Grant & Alana Williams-trained W.A. champion Arcadia Queen ($5) drawn in barriers three and four respectively.
A Heavy (9) track at Rosehill last weekend saw trainer James Cummings scratch Savatiano from her original first-up mission in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m), and on Saturday she resumes a week later over the extra metres of the P.B. Lawrence.
Jockey Mark Zahra is booked to ride the honest daughter of Street Cry who has won four of her seven previous first-up assignments and who has a strong 1400m strike rate (9:2-4-2).
She chases her first win since a nearly three length romp home at Rosehill back in February’s Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) and was last seen running a credible sixth in the Group 1 Robert Sangster in Adelaide.
Saturday sees the now six-year-old race in Melbourne for the first time since October, but the bookies are taking no chances and the punters are coming for her fresh as she boasts a Group 2 Tristarc Stakes win at the track and distance.
Arcadia Queen is also looking to return to her top form after the Pierro mare’s last start fifth in the $7.5 million The Golden Eagle last November in Sydney.
She’s returned to Perth since having spent the spring with Chris Waller in Sydney and back with the Williams’ family connections are hoping she can also be back in the winners’ stall for the first time since her 2018 Group 1 Kingston Town success at Ascot.
Arcadia Queen’s ace stablemate Regal Power ($6) and the potential value punt in the race Streets Of Avalon ($8) round out the single-figure fancies.
Jumping from a nice midfield barrier six draw with the ‘Wizard of the West’ William Pike in Melbourne for the ride, Regal Power is out to make an impact first-up off an outstanding autumn preparation.
The Pierro gelding ran fourth only a length beaten first-up in February’s Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield before running second in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington.
He relished a drop back in distance for the second edition of The All-Star Mile and couldn’t have been more impressive winning the $5 million feature in mid-March over stablemate Superstorm.
Sure to be better for Saturday’s run, Regal Power chases his first win over the 1400m but has four minor placings from his six previous starts at the distance.
Streets Of Avalon meanwhile is a Group 1 winner over the 1400m at Caulfield having saluted in the Futurity Stakes back on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
Shane Nichols’ Magnus six-year-old is a definite specialist at the track and distance (9:4-2-1) and will be improving off his last start second in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) from late July.
2020 P.B. Lawrence Stakes Field
|Grant & Alana Williams
|KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE)
|STREETS OF AVALON
|CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (IRE)
|Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes
|Leon & Troy Corstens
|Grant & Alana Williams
|Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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