The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Phillip Stokes’ upset Toorak Handicap champ last start Mr Quickie is tipped to continue his winning ways heading to Flemington on Derby Day as the favourite for the 2020 Kennedy Cantala.
One of four elite level races on the bumper VRC Derby Day program, this season’s Group 1 $1.5 million Kennedy Cantala (1600m) field features a capacity line-up of miles and looks a very open edition of the quality handicap clash.
Sitting top of the post-acceptance Kennedy Cantala odds online at $5 and firming through Ladbrokes.com.au, Shamus Award five-year-old Mr Quickie has drawn wide out in barrier 16.
He will come into 13 at best if all four emergencies fail to gain a start on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, but the wide alley hasn’t deterred the punters.
In-form jockey Jamie Kah continues associations on Mr Quickie this weekend with the horse out to do the Toorak – Cantala double for the second year in a row following the success of Fierce Impact (2019) in both races last spring.
Despite the size of the Kennedy Cantala field this year there is just one other single-figure fancy in the markets with Michael Moroney’s beaten Toorak favourite Buffalo River at $7.
Craig Williams rides the American-bred son of Noble Mission in the rematch with Buffalo River carrying the same 53kg, while Mr Quickie drops a kilo from the Toorak to 58kg in the Cantala.
Drawn barrier nine, Buffalo River has won six of his 12 career starts and presents fit third-up as he looks to atone for that last start loss at the same level at Caulfield.
With the rest of the runners at double-figure Kennedy Cantala odds there could be big value on offer looking outside the Toorak Handicap quinella.
Occupying the third line of betting at $10 is the Lindsay Park-raced topweight Fifty Stars who is on the drift.
John Allen rides the Sea The Stars entire first-up here at the horse’s pet track, Fifty Stars having won four from eight at Flemington including the autumn’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).
He finally gets out over a more suitable distance here having last been seen carrying 60kg to third behind Wild Planet on Caulfield Cup Day in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) and presents as a danger coming back in weight here.
Also at a current $10 quote to take out the Cantala on Saturday is the Hawkes Racing-trained Rock drawn in gate two and coming off that eye-catching seventh when only 2.3 lengths beaten by the winner Probabeel in Randwick’s Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
Following closely the other best in the markets include Grahame Begg’s Group 3 Coongy Cup winning four-year-old Nonconformist ($11), the early mover Wild Planet ($16 into $11) coming off the Moonga win with William Pike coming aboard on Saturday and the Chris Waller-trained Yulong Prince who ran fourth only 1.3 lengths beaten in the Epsom at huge odds.
2020 Kennedy Cantala Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||256x411x83||FIFTY STARS (IRE)||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||John Allen||15||58kg||112|
|2||02x902x271||MR QUICKIE||Phillip Stokes||Jamie Kah||16||58kg||112|
|3||x420142x8x||OLMEDO (FR)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||20||56kg||108|
|4||x7410x8191||WILD PLANET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||William Pike||8||55kg||106|
|5||7207523×24||YULONG PRINCE (SAF)||Chris Waller||Damian Lane||14||55kg||106|
|6||3x60434x30||BEST OF DAYS (GB)||James Cummings||Ben Melham||13||54.5kg||105|
|7||25319×4408||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||18||54.5kg||105|
|8||x0x470x110||I AM SUPERMAN (IRE)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Jye McNeil||1||54kg||104|
|9||1150x3x517||ROCK||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Michael Poy (a)||2||54kg||104|
|10||210×270509||STREETS OF AVALON||Shane Nichols||Zac Spain||11||54kg||104|
|11||360x2223x7||THE VELVET KING||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4||53.5kg||103|
|12||3x63x23042||AGE OF CHIVALRY (NZ)||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Daniel Moor||19||53kg||101|
|13||11x0x11x22||BUFFALO RIVER (USA)||Michael Moroney||Craig Williams||9||53kg||101|
|14||010x040x36||CHIEF IRONSIDE (GB)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||3||53kg||102|
|15||331121×371||NONCONFORMIST||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||10||53kg||101|
|16||15x911x739||KING’S LEGACY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Glen Boss||6||51kg||105|
|17e||x381567450||REYKJAVIK||Lindsey Smith||Dean Yendall||12||53kg||101|
|18e||31037×3119||JUNIPAL||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jye McNeil||17||53kg||100|
|19e||2x3314x364||HARBOUR VIEWS (FR)||Matthew Williams||Kerrin McEvoy||7||53kg||99|
|20e||3x82435x35||RELOADED||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||5||53kg||98|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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