Royal Randwick: Epsom Handicap Day, 29 Sept 2018
It’s looking like a busy schedule for Saturdays Epsom Handicap Day. The track looks as though it is going to be on the soft side, a soft 5 rating is in place at the moment, so it all depends on what the weather gods do between now and Saturday lunchtime. The big races include the Epsom Handicap, the Metropolitan Handicap, Flight Stakes, Hill Stakes and Premiere Stakes. It’s an excellent 9 race card.
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Because it’s a full race day, we won’t look at every race that’s on offer but we will look at all the races that should be of interest to punters including the three Group 1’s.
Let’s start with Race 4, the Hill Stakes, raced over 2000 metres, and features a host of previous Group 1 winners. The Chris Waller pairing of WHO SHOTTHEBARMAN and EGG TART should be right in the mix for this. The soft track will definitely assist Egg Tart as she’s a noted wet tracker. The Godolphin galloper IT’S SOMEWHAT is a pretty decent horse too, and will also enjoy the soft conditions, but not so keen on him running over the 2000 metre trip. VRC Derby winner ACE HIGH should also be respected for his efforts previously so too the John Sargent mare LUVALUVA, who has plenty of upside. Not keen on the remaining runners.
BFF Picks: Egg Tart, Ace High, Luvaluva
The next event is Race 5, the Premiere Stakes, which features an absolute super field of sprinters, most of which are using this as a tune up for The Everest in two weeks time.
We’ve got The Everest defending champion REDZEL here. He was scratched at his last nominated start, so really needs a decent run to get him into the right frame of mind. Loves the track, loves the distance. The favourite for The Everest appears to be TRAPEZE ARTIST, a horse who has picked up a few admirers along the way since winning the TJ Smith sprint back in the Autumn. He’s a loping sort of horse, not really in the sprinting style of horses like Redzel, so his galloping style is a bit of a contrast. What he does in this race will probably affect the betting market for The Everest. The horse that I really like is Melbourne sprinter SANTA ANA LANE, now a three-time Group 1 winner in the space of 12 months. He’s an exciting horse to watch and can fly home from nowhere. He’s my pick. IN HER TIME, SHOALS (also a three-time Group 1 victor), and INVINCIBLE STAR are all amazing horses in their own right and will be using this as a springboard into The Everest.
This race will be one of the highlights of the day, for sure.
BFF Picks: Santa Ana Lane, Redzel, Shoals
Race 6 is the Group 1 Flight Stakes for three-year-old fillies. Surely this is a one horse race with MISS FABULASS commanding all the betting action. I can’t really see any other filly getting close, so to fill in the minor placings I’d go with FIESTA and PRETTY IN PINK. All three appear to be above class versus their rivals.
BFF Picks: Miss Fabulass, Fiesta, Pretty In Pink
Race 7 is the Group 1 Epsom Handicap. It’s a big field and fairly open too in terms of the betting prospects.
I’ll go with the Waller pairing of UNFORGOTTEN and D’ARGENTO, both look like really good contenders for the spring carnival leading into next year’s autumn carnival. I’ll select grizzly old warrior HARTNELL to run into third.
BFF Picks: Unforgotten, D’Argento, Hartnell
Race 8 is the 2400m Metropolitan Handicap. This is a pretty big field too. So, there are numerous chances and with many gallopers carrying extreme lightweights in this race. At least 14 of the 19 runners are carrying 51 kilograms or less.
I’m not that keen on the two British gallopers that are demanding a bit of attention in the betting ring. Instead, I am giving BRIMHAM ROCKS and HIGH BRIDGE a wide berth.
I much prefer the claims of former Kiwi stayers PATRICK ERIN and THE LORD MAYOR. Both have good form and group company and can stay all day. MISS ADMIRATION is my third pick.
BFF Picks: Patrick Erin, The Lord Mayor, Miss Admiration
Good luck to you all, punting on AFL Grand Final day.