The Spring Champion Stakes meeting will be held at Royal Randwick this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and with overcast weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Randwick is likely to be racing on a Good track on raceday.
Up ‘N’ Rolling can turn the table on stablemate Alward on Saturday in the IGA Liquor Handicap (Sydney Race 2, 2000m). These two Waller trained horses quinella a BM82 handicap a fortnight ago where Up “N’ Rolling was cramped for room when straightening, and didn’t see daylight until the 100m mark, and all the while Alward had already got the race won. There will be a 1.5kg weight turnaround on Saturday and that would be enough for Up ‘N’ Rolling to make a winning return. Kerrin McEvoy will stick with the gelding and from barrier 1, Up ‘N’ Rolling will settle just behind the leader on the fence and he will be tough to beat.
Stepping up to the mile on Saturday will suit the lightly raced 5YO Interlocuter much better (Sydney Race 3, 1600m). The Godolphin-owned stallion won back-to-back races (2100m & 2200m) before his spell. And he came back in good order by winning 1st up over 1400m at Rosehill four weeks ago, only to lose the race on protest for causing inference to the eventual winner Wayanka. James Cummings has kept Interlocuter’s fitness up to the mark by giving him an easy 1200m trial 12 days ago. Regular jockey Tye Angland will once again be aboard and from a nice gate (5), Interlocuter will get a cushy run mid-field and he will be hard to hold out in the run home.
There are some high class 3YOs nominated for this year’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (Sydney Race 7, 2000m). Godolphin-owned colt Astoria won the Newcastle Spring Stakes brilliantly before failing to back up a week later in the Gloaming Stakes. The stable has reported that Astoria has responded to a better preparation for this race and appears to have gone to another level with the application of a set of winkers to keep him focused. His energy levels are right back up and he’s got a better opportunity of getting back to his best. The winkers will stay on Astoria in the Spring Champion Stakes. Currently at $8.00 in the fixed odds market, Astoria is a great value bet.
By Owens Wong, Editor