The George Main Stakes meeting will be held at Royal Randwick this Saturday (18th Sept). The course proper was rated a Soft 6 on Thursday and with overcast weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Randwick is likely to border on Good/Soft condition on raceday.
Queensland Guineas winner Private Eye is ready to take out the Bill Ritchie Handicap (Sydney Race 5, 1400m). From the in-form Joseph Pride stable, the 4YO gelding has come back in good shape this campaign with a first-up victory in the Show County Quality (1200m) beating horses like Embracer and Icebath. Private Eye has a pretty good record at Randwick and he can handle any track conditions. Stepping up to 1400m 3rd up is perfect. With a fair bit of pace in the race, Jay Ford will drop back in the field and watch him flies home down the Randwick straight.
Champion mare Verry Elleegant looks hard to beat in the George Main Stakes (Sydney Race 7, 1600m). First-up in the Winx Stakes, the mare was beaten by the up and coming Mo’unga. Verry Elleegant has a good 2nd up record and the mile would suit her better. The 6YO is very versatile as she can handle any track conditions, winning from 1400m to 2400m and she can settle anywhere in a race. She also has a great record at Randwick with four wins and five placings from thirteen starts at the venue. James McDonald knows the horse really well and from barrier 2, McDonald will settle just off the pace and she will be ready to pounce rounding the home turn.
The field in The Shorts looks like a rehearsal of The Everest and Nature Strip can keep up with his good form from his first-up victory in the Concorde Stakes. (Sydney Race 8, 1100m). The Waller stable has done a good job with the 7YO as the gelding relaxed beautifully in the lead in the Concorde and was travelling well within himself. Nature Strip has almost a perfect record at 1100m with five wins and a 3rd from seven attempts at the trip and he loves Randwick. With fast pace in the race, McDonald may take a sit behind likely leader Eduardo and Nature Strip will confirm his favouritism for The Everest by taking out The Shorts.
By Owens Wong, Editor