The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Group 1 $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) steals the show in Sydney on Saturday with a quality field of milers engaged in the Royal Randwick clash including new favourite Hinged.
The Chris Waller-trained Hinged has been heavily backed in from $6 to $3.80 to salute third-up from gate nine with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride.
The four-year-old daughter of Worthy Cause chases her second elite level trophy following her narrow Surround Stakes success back in February.
She ran top four in her three subsequent autumn Group 1 runs and has been on the improve this campaign.
Last start she produced a stellar effort running third to Anamoe in the George Main at the track and distance only a length beaten.
Fit third-up and ready to fire, Hinged also comes back from 56.5kg to just 51.5kg and will be flying with that weight on Soft going in a winnable edition of the Epsom.
Brad Widdup’s ultra-consistent Sacred Falls mare has had eight runs at the top level for five minor placings.
She has banked over $4.5 million in stakes over her 35-start career to date thanks in part to her victory in the inaugural $2 million The Invitation last spring.
This prep she has had three runs finishing second in her latest two behind Zaaki in the Tramway on a Heavy (10) and second in the George Main, which looks a strong form line for this weekend.
Following closely at Epsom Handicap odds of $4.20 is the Annabel Neasham-trained Top Ranked in gate four with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Top Ranked carries the equal 56.5kg top-weight with Converge and comes off a first-up win here a fortnight back in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) carrying 59.5kg.
A genuine miler, the Dark Angel grey has a stellar 1600m record (13:6-1-2) and has the form and draw to run very well.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies for the Epsom this season is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Cross Talk ($8.50).
Rachel King rides the in form five-year-old who has is yet to finish out of the money in his nine starts (9-5:1-3).
Fresh he ran third only two lengths off Top Ranked in the Bill Ritchie, but this is a notable class rise for the progressive Kiwi-bred son of Keano.
The rest of the runners in this year’s Epsom are easing in the markets including the aforementioned rails-drawn equal top-weight Converge ($17 out to $21) and Matthew Smith’s class So You Think mare Nimalee ($13 out to $15) who looks a sneaky outside chance on the quick back-up.
Last Saturday Nimalee was good holding on to post a narrow victory in the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) from barrier 15 of 16.
She carted 58kg to victory second-up off her Tramway third to Zaaki and is up to a mile for the first time since her Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) triumph on a Heavy (10) here by over two lengths at 30/1 back in April.
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