Super Saturday is on this weekend with four Group 1 races being held at Randwick, the Epsom Handicap, the Metropolitan, Flight Stakes and Spring Champion Stakes. Randwick was rated Good 3 at acceptance time.
The Spring Champion Stakes (Sydney Race 5, 2000m) has been a springboard for most of the Victorian Derby horses. The focus this year, however, is on a promising colt with sprinting bloodline. The Gai Waterhouse trained Proisir has been unbeaten this preparation winning all three starts. Gai tries to use the Spring Champion Stakes to gauge if Proisir could be a Cox Plate horse. Interestingly Proisir’s sire, Choisir, was a Group 1 winning sprinter winning races up to 1200m. His dam, Prophet Jewel had won races up to 1300m. There has been a lot of comments questioning Proisir’s ability to stay 2000m. From what I have seen, I believe he will have no problem running out the distance in the Champion Stakes. First of all, Proisir is a very relax horse and he is a class above this field. And when he won the Newcastle Spring Stakes (1600m) by 6 lengths in his last start, he showed me he still got something in hand. Also according to my speed map, the only pace in the race would come from the 2 Waterhouse trained horses with Proisir leading and King of Olympia sitting outside him. I can see Proisir leading easily in front and kick away in the straight. The odd is short but he should win.
The Flight Stakes (Sydney Race 6, 1600m) has a few interesting runners. Race favourite Norzita was unlucky in the Tea Rose Stakes being first past the post but lost the race on protest to Longport. Having said that, Longport has already beaten Norzita twice this preparation. Interestingly both fillies have a change in riders on Saturday with Hugh Bowman replacing Corey Brown on Norzita and Christian Reith replacing Jim Cassidy on Longport. The horse I believe would run out the strong mile is Dear Demi. She looked very good in winning the Surround Stakes two starts back. And even though she got block for a run in the straight in the Tea Rose, Dear Demi finished off the race nicely once she got clear and was only beaten by 2 lengths. To my eyes, Dear Demi is looking for the mile and the 1600m on Saturday will suit her nicely. The Waterhouse trained Urban Groove was impressive winning her only 2 career starts. But I do question whether Urban Groove is seasoned enough having only her third race start to match Norzita and Dear Demi in a Group 1 mile race.
The main feature of the meeting the Epsom Handicap (Sydney Race 7, 1600m) has plenty of winning chances. Last year’s Epsom winner Secret Admirer has been flying during track work this week. On Tuesday, Secret Admirer finished her workout running 36.9 secs for the last 600m and 11.1 secs for the last furlong. She is primed to win back-to-back Epsom. The strongest form line in the history of the Epsom Handicap has been the George Main Stakes. Shoot Out won the George Main 1st up two weeks ago and fitness wise he can only improve in the Epsom. He has a terrific record over the Randwick mile including a 2nd in the Doncaster Handicap earlier this year. Given his race record, Shoot Out is not harshly treated on 58kg and from barrier 10, he should settle just behind the pace one off the fence and Bowman will give his backers a great sight in the straight. At $5.00, Shoot Out is my pick for the Epsom.
In the Metropolitan (Sydney Race 8, 2400m), I like the lead up form of Lamasery. All his lead up runs this preparation have been at WFA and have been very solid. His last run in winning the Hill Stakes was very good and he drops from 59kg to 54.5kg in the Metro. Lamasery has been set for this race and he is ready to deliver. Glencadam Gold has been unbeaten since he came to Australia. He won the Newcastle Cup easily last start. But I believe he has bigger fish to fry this preparation as his main mission is the Caulfield Cup. Nonetheless, Glencadam Gold will run on strongly.
By Owens Wong, Editor