The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Kerry Parker’s Group 1 winner Think It Over is tipped to take out the $1 million Hill Stakes 2021 in the absence of former star acceptor Verry Elleegant at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Trainer Chris Waller has sent his nine-time elite level champion Verry Elleegant south to tackle Incentivise in Flemington’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) this weekend ahead of her Cox Plate bid leaving a more open affair in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick.
With Verry Elleegant out, the Hill Stakes field is down to just seven runners with markets on the weight-for-age feature at Ladbrokes.com.au led by So You Think six-year-old Think It Over at $2.
Nearing odds-on territory, the galloper comes off a last start third behind Verry Elleegant when under a length beaten at the track on September 18 in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) having done it tough racing wide without cover the trip.
Prior to that he won the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), which was his first victory since scoring the upset at 25/1 in the autumn’s Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
Presenting rock hard fit and with previous winning form over the 2000m, Think It Over shapes-up as a hard to beat favourite this weekend.
The danger occupying the second line of Hill Stakes betting at $4.40 is the big market mover Duais, Edward Cummings’ Queensland Oaks winner backed right in from opening odds of $9.
Hugh Bowman comes aboard the now four-year-old daughter of Shamus Award who was enormous first-up only a neck off the winner in Newcastle’s Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) on September 17.
Runner-up in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) before her Queensland Oaks triumph over 2200m during the winter, Duais will only improve getting out over further and rates well for this.
The other horses at single figure Hill Stakes odds this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival are Matthew Smith’s Japanese import Keiai Nautique ($5) and the Chris Waller-trained Shared Ambition whose quote has been halved from $14 to $7.
Deep Impact entire Keiai Nautique caught the eye in his Australian debut back in August running fourth at 40/1 only a quarter-length off Mo’unga in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m).
He went south for the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) second-up only to finish midfield, four lengths off Peter Moody’s all-in Melbourne Cup favourite Incentivise.
Smith brings the seven-year-old back to Sydney chasing the now seven-figure Hill Stakes win third-up and fit with improvement expected despite the galloper not having won over further than 1600m.
Waller meanwhile has won the Hill Stakes five times in the past eight years including the past two on the trot with Verry Elleegant (2019) and Kolding (2020).
He returns on Saturday looking to add to that commanding record with his Queensland Derby winner Kukeracha ($16) and the well-backed Shared Ambition.
Shared Ambition comes off back-to-back fifths this prep in the Chelmsford and Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) and gets his chance again here.
2021 Hill Stakes Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||3x1214x613||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Nash Rawiller||4||59kg||114|
|2||654x300x47||KEIAI NAUTIQUE (JPN)||Matthew Smith||Glen Boss||6||59kg||106|
|3||x120138x55||SHARED AMBITION (IRE)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||3||59kg||106|
|4||51x07422x4||CARIF||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||8||59kg||103|
|5||120421×400||CEPHEUS (GB)||Matthew Dunn||Jason Collett||1||59kg||88|
|6||7x6321x280||KUKERACHA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||2||58kg||100|
|7||17x3112x21||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||7||57kg||122|
|8||12821121×3||DUAIS||Edward Cummings||Hugh Bowman||5||56kg||103|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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