Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Chris Waller’s class mare Verry Elleegant will face just six rivals in a small but intriguing edition of the George Main Stakes 2020 over the Randwick mile on Saturday.
The elite level action of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival continues at Royal Randwick this weekend with the weight-for-age Group 1 $500,000 George Main Stakes (1600m).
Waller has dominated the event with six wins in the past eight years having enjoyed success with: Shoot Out (2012), Sacred Falls (2014), Kermadec (2016) and the three-peat by the heroic Winx (2016-18).
The master horseman is back with four of Saturday’s seven George Main Stakes final acceptors including the top elect Verry Elleegant drawn gate two with James McDonald to ride.
McDonald continues his association with the brilliant Zed mare who he rode to a gutsy first-up win at the track on August 22 in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m).
Winner of the Group 1 Tancred Stakes over the mile and a half in the autumn, Verry Elleegant will eat-up the extra metres second-up on the weekend as she progresses towards a Cox Plate and potential Spring Cups’ campaign later in the season.
The other best fancied for Team Waller are the eye-catching Winx Stakes runner-up Star Of The Seas ($8) who also finished second in the Doncaster Mile here in the autumn and the always-honest Imaging ($8.50) coming off a fourth in the same Group 1 lead-up.
Last year’s Epsom Handicap and inaugural $7.5 million The Golden Eagle champion Kolding ($12) is then the stable’s roughie chance.
The son of Ocean Park is looking top value to atone for his 13th in the Winx Stakes and go one better than his close second on September 5 in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m).
John Thompson’s evergreen Fastnet Rock eight-year-old Dreamforce won the Tramway for the second year on the trot and is another top hope for the George Main on Saturday.
The gelding won the Tramway last spring before a second in the George Main and enjoyed a Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) win at Rosehill this March.
With Nash Rawiller aboard from the inside alley, Dreamforce currently occupies the third line of George Main Stakes betting at $5.50.
He trails only Verry Elleegant and the defending champion Avilius who is at $4.60 to go back-to-back for the powerhouse Godolphin stable.
The James Cummings-trained Pivotal seven-year-old comes off a string of frustrating close calls when third in both the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes and Tancred during the autumn at Rosehill.
His first-up run was over the Randwick mile in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes where he ran third from the outside alley (15 of 15) in a brave fresh performance on September 5.
Second-up in a smaller field there is improvement to come from the seven-year-old and he is being kept safe in betting.
The field and markets are completed by the fellow Cummings-trained Group 1 winner Colette ($31), the ATC Oaks winning daughter of Hallowed Crown coming off a second last (10th) when still only 2.2 lengths off Dreamforce in the Tramway.
2020 George Main Stakes Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||47x54533x4||AVILIUS (GB)||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||6||59kg||114|
|2||05x2810x01||DREAMFORCE||John Thompson||Nash Rawiller||1||59kg||113|
|3||1x45778x02||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||7||59kg||111|
|4||20x8100x34||IMAGING (GB)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||5||59kg||109|
|5||393x1720x2||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Sam Clipperton||3||59kg||109|
|6||10x42212x1||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||2||57kg||117|
|7||8221111×0||COLETTE||James Cummings||Ms Rachel King||4||56.5kg||106|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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