The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Odds-on favourite Nature Strip is tipped to beat home fellow The Everest-bound Gytrash with the two confirmed horses for next month’s $15 million feature the only two at single-figures in Concorde Stakes 2020 betting this weekend at Randwick.
The Group 3 $160,000 Concorde Stakes (1000m) is a genuine highlight on Saturday’s Chelmsford Stakes Day card in Sydney and will get plenty of attention despite drawing just six runners.
Serving as an early preview for the world’s richest turf race back at the track on October 17, the Concorde Stakes field features two sprinters already assured of a slot in The Everest 2020 field including the all-in favourite Nature Strip.
Chris Waller’s multiple Group 1 champion was fourth in The Everest last year and dominates futures betting to take it out in 2020.
His spring campaign begins in the Concorde, a short distance feature he finished fourth behind dual The Everest champion Redzel in first-up last season.
He has enjoyed three subsequent Group 1 victories in the past 12 months and, after two winning Rosehill trials last month, Waller is bullish over his horse’s chances on Saturday.
Nature Strip may be allocated the 60.5kg topweight and drawn the outside barrier (6) for jockey James McDonald to overcome, but it hasn’t stopped the punters backing him into clear $1.40 favouritism in the Concorde Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Gytrash also gets a shot at The Everest glory this year with the Gordon Richards-trained Adelaide raider filling the slot for Inglis.
The Lope De Vega gelding is best known for his upset win fresh off a nearly six-month spell at Flemington in February’s Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m).
He went on to run back-to-back Group 1 placings in Melbourne during March before a Group 3 April win at Morphettville over 1100m.
A first-up specialist, Gytrash was last seen running second in a devastatingly close photo finish behind Trekking in Adelaide’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 16.
The horse is sure to appreciate running fresh over the shorter distance in Sydney this weekend, but faces a very tough ask to get the better of Nature Strip and currently pays $3.50 to do so.
The third line of Concorde Stakes betting is currently co-held at $16 by the returning duo of Splintex and Dirty Work who both went out on a winning streak.
Mark Newnham’s Snitzel entire Splintex makes his four-year-old debut in the race and boasts an excellent Randwick record (3:2-0-1) having last been seen beating Flit home in the Group 2 Arrowfield at the track on April 11.
Dirty Work meanwhile is after a fourth straight victory with the Hawkes Racing-trained son of Written Tycoon, another stallion coming off a strong three-years-old campaign last season, having won a trio of easier grade races last prep including the Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill in mid-May by 2.5 lengths.
Joe Pride’s rails-drawn veteran Ball Of Muscle ($6.50) races as a 10-year-old for the first time as a genuine place chance at his pet distance, before the triple-figure roughie Prairie Fire ($151) rounds out the field.
2020 Concorde Stakes Field
|BALL OF MUSCLE
|Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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