The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Update: The Godolphin-raced Pericles has been sensationally scratched from Saturday’s Group 1 $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) field in Sydney with updated markets now led by the Kerry Parker-trained mare Hope In Your Heart.
The James Cummings-trained Pericles heads the Epsom Handicap 2023 betting markets following final acceptances for Saturday’s mile classic at Royal Randwick.
The Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival action is turned up this weekend for Epsom Day with a triple-shot of elite level racing.
The marquee race of the meeting is the Group 1 $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) that has drawn a capacity line-up of milers.
Sitting top of the final field Epsom Handicap odds online at $6 through Ladbrokes.com.au is the Godolphin-raced Pericles drawn out in barrier 14.
He will come into gate 13 at best if the two emergencies fail to gain a start with the airborne Nash Rawiller coming aboard for the coveted ride.
Street Boss four-year-old Pericles has won both is spring lead-ups including carting 57kg to victory last time out on September 2 in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) here.
He has been brought on fitness-wise with a winning Wyong trial on September 18 where Rawiller got a feel for the in-form galloper.
Pericles has a lovely Randwick strike-rate (4:1-2-0), winning form up to 1800m, and is tipped to hand Cummings a second win following his 2018 success with former top-liner Hartnell.
The danger occupying the second line of Epsom Handicap betting this spring out to be the first mare to win since Probabeel (2020) is the Kerry Parker-trained Hope In Your Heart ($7).
Craig Williams comes aboard the five-year-old daughter of Dundeel who was last seen running 1.6 lengths back third to Pericles in the Tramway.
She had 55kg on her back that day and is in on 54kg for Saturday’s feature where she chases her first win since the Group 3 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) back in February.
Hope In Your Heart was good during the autumn at elite level however with back-to-back Group 1 fourths including a narrow defeat to Mr Brightside at 30/1 in the Doncaster Mile at this track and trip.
Mr Brightside has been the form horse of the spring going from strength-to-strength on way to the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, which bodes well for Hope In Your Heart here.
The mare was also second at Randwick in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in the autumn and presents well second-up on the weekend.
Currently just one other runner is under $10 for the win with the Chris Waller-trained Kovalica ($9) out to atone for his first-up ninth to Golden Mile at Rosehill in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) with 58kg.
The four-year-old Ocean Park gelding is second-up here and undefeated two runs in (2:2-0-0).
He will relish the 4kg drop back to 54kg here.
The Group 1 Queensland Derby winner from the winter boasts a flawless three-from-three record over the 1600m Epsom distance and was third narrowly beaten against the older horses in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) before his Derby triumph.
He looks a huge hope in the Epsom now drawn a treat in barrier seven and has the ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira aboard in another big plus.
Brazilian star Moreira was enormous for the Waller camp in Sydney last weekend saluting in the Golden Rose Stakes on Militarize, and he will be looking to add to his already impressive Group 1 record down under on Saturday.
Waller has a strong Epsom Handicap record preparing four winners in the past decade with Boban (2013), He’s your Man (2014), Winx (2015) and Kolding (2019).
The master horseman has a total of eight Epsom Handicap final acceptors this year including the second emergency Political Debate with the outside alley.
His other best fancies according to the bookies are first-up Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap winner Rediener ($10) and Democracy Manifest ($13) also coming off a last start win in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap at Newcastle.
Other notable Epsom Handicap final acceptors include eight-year-old The Inevitable ($10) who was third in the autumn’s $5 million The All-Star Mile before a first-up Theo Marks second at Rosehill and Godolphin’s Astern entire Golden Mile ($15) who won the Theo Marks last time out.
2023 Epsom Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||16x6026x64||MY OBERON (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Chad Schofield||18||56kg||109|
|2||8x41292x11||PERICLES||James Cummings||Nash Rawiller||14||56kg||109|
|3||x1111113x2||THE INEVITABLE||John Keys||David Pires||8||55.5kg||108|
|4||3x121x0x96||GOING GLOBAL (IRE)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||12||55kg||55.5kg||110|
|5||00x73027x4||CONVERGE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||9||55kg||107|
|6||1x2400x901||GOLDEN MILE||James Cummings||Blake Shinn||21||55kg||107|
|7||1x69x04x76||KIRWAN’S LANE (NZ)||John O’Shea||Tom Sherry||11||54.5kg||105|
|8||142x1442x3||HOPE IN YOUR HEART||Kerry Parker||Craig Williams||10||54kg||109|
|9||1x93186x09||DIAMIL (IRE)||John O’Shea||Jason Collett||5||54kg||105|
|10||111x3131x9||KOVALICA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||7||54kg||105|
|11||21113553×4||NUGGET (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Damien Oliver||19||54kg||105|
|12||2111263×64||POUNDING||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Ms Jamie Kah||13||54kg||105|
|13||2x37160x00||COMMUNIST||Michael Freedman||Dylan Gibbons (a)||6||53.5kg||104|
|14||52x131x8x0||DUKE DE SESSA (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Regan Bayliss||15||53.5kg||104|
|15||261x407x28||MADAME POMMERY||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||16||51.5kg||52kg||104|
|16||13x1761x01||DEMOCRACY MANIFEST||Chris Waller||Tyler Schiller||1||51.5kg||1.5kg||100|
|17||8x641211x1||REDIENER||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||2||50kg||100|
|18||0x31023417||BARBIE’S FOX||Ben, Will & JD Hayes||Dean Yendall||4||50kg||98|
|19||191x520x33||WATERFORD (IRE)||Chris Waller||Zac Lloyd (a)||20||50kg||97|
|20||114x11x158||OLENTIA||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||17||50kg||50.5kg||95|
|21e||x745303x42||WILLIAMSBURG||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||Andrew Adkins||3||50kg||94|
|22e||312x80x529||POLITICAL DEBATE||Chris Waller||Ms Rachel King||22||50kg||87|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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