The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Jamie Richards-trained New Zealander Entriviere is firm favourite in The Invitation 2021 betting to claim the inaugural edition of the $2 million feature at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Stablemate Probabeel, shock winner over Zaaki in the Might And Power Stakes last time out, runs in Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Less than half an hour later, Richards’ attention will turn to Sydney where his consistent Tavistock five-year-old Entriviere runs favourite in the $2 million The Invitation (1400m) on Bondi Stakes Day.
A dozen female gallopers have been invited to contest the lucrative set weights plus penalties showdown and the money is on Tommy Berry’s mount to salute from barrier 11 (into 9 with emergencies out).
Entriviere pays $3 in the latest The Invitation betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to return to winning form after her lead-up third in Rosehill’s Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) when only three-quarters of a length off the winner Vangelic as the beaten favourite.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Golden Pendant champ Vangelic went on to suffer a nasty next-up loss.
The four-year-old daughter of Vancouver ran 12th after getting caught up in the interference that caused tragic race fall of Triple Ace in the $500,000 Silver Eagle (1300m).
Jockey Tim Clark kept the mare safe dropping right out of the race to avoid injury and gets the chance to atone in Saturday’s The Invitation race with Vangelic at a generous $10 quote.
Along with the favourite the other single-figure mares in The Invitation odds are the widely-drawn Icebath ($8) for Brad Widdup down in grade off an Epsom Handicap ninth only a shade over three lengths beaten and Robert Heathcote’s Queensland-trained filly Startantes ($9).
Widdup is hoping for a change of luck for his honest Sacred Falls mare Icebath who has amassed close to $2.4 million in prize money but whose winning strike-rate remains low.
The five-year-old has won just three of her 24 career starts, but her record in better races remains strong including her Group Doncaster Mile second in the autumn and her close Golden Pendant fourth two back.
“Everyone is in the same boat, we all need a bit of luck in racing,” he told The Advertiser.
“With Icebath, it’s more obvious with her because she has had so much bad luck. The two comments you hear are ‘your turn will come’ and ‘she is unlucky’.
“We get that but I’m not on my own there. I’m lucky to have a mare like her and I respect that side of it.’’
Three-year-old Star Turn filly Startantes gets the weight advantage carrying just 52kg against the older mares and has won five of her 10 runs to date.
She was tested in elite grade last time out at the track in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) running a close third and looks a genuine chance here back to the 1400m distance that she finished 2.89 lengths sixth to In The Congo in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in late September.
The Invitation 2021 is scheduled to run as Randwick Race 9 at 5:35pm (AEDT) in front of a COVID-capped capacity crowd of 10,000 with the latest markets courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au available in full here.
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