The George Main Stakes meeting will be held at Royal Randwick this Saturday (19th Sept). The course proper was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and with light drizzle forecast for Friday and Saturday, Randwick is likely to be racing on a Good track on raceday.
The John O’Shea-trained Opacity looks the good to return to the winner’s circle in the Shoot Out Mile (Sydney Race 3, 1600m). This 4YO gelding had won over this track and trip before his spell and as a matter of fact, Opacity has never been beaten over the Randwick mile winning 2 from 2. First-up in the Tramway Stakes two weeks ago, Opacity was a little outclassed yet he was only beaten 3.5 lengths. Down in class on Saturday and stepping up to 1600m 2nd up looks perfect. With a fair bit of pace in the race, Hugh Bowman will settle just behind midfield and Opacity is going to let down strongly in the run home.
After finishing off strongly for 2nd in the Show County Quality (sprinting race best last 200m in 11.57secs) when first-up four weeks ago, Probabeel is going to make amend in the Bill Ritchie Handicap on Saturday (Sydney Race 5, 1400m). This 4YO is a class mare having won the Group 1 Surround Stakes over this course back in the Autumn before being runner-ups in the Phar Lap Stakes and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes. Stepping up to 1400m on Saturday will suit as the mare has won twice with a placing from 4 attempts at the trip. Kerrin McEvoy will once again be on board and from barrier 4, McEvoy is going to settle midfield and Probabeel will be flying home down the long Randwick straight.
Verry Elleegant is the best horse in the George Main Stakes and she is going to race accordingly (Sydney Race 6, 1600m). This Zed mare was brilliant in the Autumn having taken out the Group 1 Tancred Stakes with a further three Group 1 2nds. And the 5YO came back with a bang winning first-up in the Winx Stakes, after coming from second last at the 800m to win by a nose. The extra 200m on Saturday will certainly suit her better and she has a good record at Randwick with 3 wins and two 2nds at the venue. Nicely drawn in barrier 2, James McDonald will take a sit behind the leading bunch and the class of Verry Elleegant will shine through in the last two furlong.
By Owens Wong, Editor