The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
A host of fit winter stars do battle at Flemington on Saturday in an outstanding edition of the Aurie’s Star Handicap 2021 in the lead-up to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Set to run as Flemington Race 8 at 4:30pm, this year’s Group 3 $200,000 World Horse Racing Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) field features 15 runners led in betting by the Leon & Troy Corstens-trained The Astrologist ($4.60 @ Ladbrokes.com.au).
The Zoustar five-year-old is drawn midfield in gate eight and chases a third win from four starts coming off a strong winter campaign.
He enjoyed back-to-back Flemington wins including July’s Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final over the six furlongs before a close third only a half-length beaten in Caulfield’s Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m).
The Astrologist faces a challenge here against a field of in-form sprinters, but he has the fitness edge in the Aurie’s Star field and returns to his pet track on Saturday.
It is a wide open Aurie’s Star Handicap betting market on the weekend with a further six single-figure fancies including the Danny O’Brien-trained stablemates Banquo ($7.50) and Group 1 runner-up Order Of Command ($8.50).
Written Tycoon entire Banquo is Group 1 performed at the track (Newmarket Handicap 5th) and a Group 2 placegetter when runner-up to Zoutori in last September’s Bobbie Lewis Quality.
He comes off a second to The Astrologist in the All Victorian Sprint Series Final and is out to turn the tables this weekend from barrier three third-up with Damian Lane in the saddle.
Kicking off his spring campaign is the Ben & JD Hayes-trained Aysar ($7.50) in gate nine with premier hoop Jamie Kah aboard the now four-year-old son of Deep Field.
Aysar is out to shrug his place-getter status having strung together a host of second placings last time out including in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) behind Ole Kirk.
Last start Listed Glasshouse Handicap winner in Queensland King Of Hastings ($8) and Saab Hasan’s resuming Wanted seven-year-old Sirius Suspect ($8.50) are the next best in betting.
Rounding out the horses under $10 Aurie’s Star Handicap odds is the rails-drawn Regardsmaree ($9.50) for local horseman Nick Ryan.
The So You Think five-year-old enjoyed a hat-trick of wins back at the start of the year and hasn’t raced since a fourth in the Echa Cup back in March.
There will also be eyes on triple-figure outsider, the returning VRC Derby champion Johnny Get Angry ($126) for former AFL Premiership coach Denis Pagan.
The youngster makes his four-year-old debut here and races for the first time since his upset win at HQ in last October’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) nine months ago.
2021 Aurie’s Star Handicap Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||0329431x||JOHNNY GET ANGRY (NZ)||Denis Pagan||Jamie Mott||11||59kg||104|
|2||722x329x98||ORDER OF COMMAND||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||5||58.5kg||103|
|3||x1622x229x||AYSAR||Ben & JD Hayes||Ms Jamie Kah||9||57.5kg||101|
|4||7174346×18||ROMANCER (NZ)||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||6||57kg||100|
|5||2145×54113||THE ASTROLOGIST||Leon & Troy Corstens||Damien Thornton||8||57kg||100|
|6||x16232x483||GREAT AGAIN||Lindsey Smith||Declan Bates||2||56.5kg||99|
|7||8568436×98||TACTICAL ADVANTAGE||Kris Lees||Craig Newitt||12||56.5kg||99|
|8||25x7277x52||BANQUO||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||3||55.5kg||97|
|9||9x615x0641||KING OF HASTINGS||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Brett Prebble||4||55.5kg||97|
|10||11218227×0||SECRET BLAZE||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Jye McNeil||7||55.5kg||97|
|11||60x311x76x||SIRIUS SUSPECT||Saab Hasan||Damien Oliver||13||55.5kg||97|
|12||34x131114x||REGARDSMAREE||Nick Ryan||Fred Kersley||1||54kg||94|
|13||36x99x7407||I AM SOMEONE||Matt Laurie||Lachlan Neindorf (a)||14||54kg||90|
|14||72233×7711||TOO GOOD TOO HARD||Phillip Stokes||Will Price (a)||10||54kg||89|
|15||403×439067||IRISH SONGS||Kurt Goldman||Beau Mertens||15||54kg||76|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2021 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.