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 remain in the Good range on raceday.
Top weight Bottega is the class horse in the Drinkwise Handicap and he looks the one to beat (Sydney Race 3, 1400m). The 4YO did well finishing 3rd over this trip when first-up two weeks ago. Bottega loves Randwick as he has only ever missed a place once from 5 starts at the venue. Fresh from a winning treble on Wednesday, Nash Rawiller will pilot the stallion on Saturday. From barrier 5, Rawiller will settle midfield and with pretty good pace in the race, Bottega can run over the top of this field.
Alligator Blood is going to prove his credentials for the Golden Eagle by taking out Saturday’s Silver Eagle (Sydney Race 6, 1300m). Last campaign, the 4YO won the C.S.Hayes first-up before taking out the Group 1 Australian Guineas. The gelding resumed with an eye-catching 3rd at Doomben under 61kg over an unsuitable 1100m. Stepping up to 1300m will really help and Alligator Blood will be much fitter second-up. From barrier 4, regular jockey Ryan Maloney will go forward and share the lead and Alligator Blood will stamp his authority on this field in the run home.
In recent years, fillies have been having a good record in the Spring Champion Stakes winning two of the past four editions and Montefilia can continue that trend (Sydney Race 7 2000m). Montefilia took out the Group 1 Flight Stakes last start in brilliant fashion, beating two great fillies in Dame Giselle and Hungry Heart. This David Payne-trained filly has a very relax character and stepping up to 2000m suits her right down to the ground. The in-form Jason Collett will be on board on Saturday and from barrier 1, Colette will park midfield along the fence and put Montefilia to sleep. With a good turn-of-foot, Montefilia will be too strong at the finish.
By Owens Wong, Editor