Gai Waterhouse only has one runner entered across the four G1 feature races at Randwick this Saturday but will be seeking compensation in the G2 Chairman’s Handicap with The Offer, the current favourite for the 2600m event. At $3.30, he shades the Sertorius $3.70 who comes off some very strong performances in WFA races. It wouldn’t be a Sydney staying feature without a Chris Waller runner entered and he has two here, Permit and Opinion. Opinion is clearly the pick of the two for Waller and is rated a $5.00 chance as compared to Permit who is $51.00
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1. SERTORIUS – R Maloney (9) 59kgs
Each of his four starts this time in have been under WFA conditions with the most recent effort resulting in a strong fourth (2 ¾ lengths) to in-form Silent Achiever in the G1 The BMW (2400m). Had to cart the field up to the leader last start and stuck on well. On that effort under handicap conditions, he rates very well.
2. PERMIT – J Bowman (5) 58kgs
Found some form toward the end of last year winning the Listed Christmas Stakes (2400m) and Tatt’s Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Day in consecutive starts before a two month break. He then lined up in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) but after finishing a distant last, was found to be lame and ordered to trial to Stewards satisfaction. Hasn’t had a good preparation for a race of this nature.
3. THE OFFER – T Berry (1) 57.5kgs
As he did when victorious in the Ballarat Cup last year, he swam through the wet conditions of the G3 Manion Cup (2600m) last start to record a comprehensive 3 ¼ length win over Opinion. Strong at the end of last start and has to be a leading contender here but mindful when considering his price, that he does rise 3kgs and takes on a stronger field here.
4. EPINGLE – C Williams (7) 56.5kgs
Took out the feature double of the Hobart and Launceston Cups during a brief stint in Tasmania before finishing well from back in the field to run third (1.1 lengths) behind Intimate Moment in the G3 Percy Sykes (1900m). That was her first run for a month and she was finishing at a good rate of knots. Finished second to Sertorius in the G2 Zipping Classic last spring and meets him here 1kg better. Not to be overlooked.
5. OPINION – J Cassidy (2)
Bookies cheered this former imported galloper home three starts back when, as a 25/1 chance, he took at the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m). He has run second in each of his two runs since, the Listed Randwick City Stakes and Manion Cup, behind Junoob and The Offer who defeated him by 5 and 3 lengths respectively. Meets The Offer 4kgs better here and will get a good run from gate two.
6. HIPPOPUS – T Clark (6) 54.5kgs
Raced like the stayer he is first up over a mile at Warwick Farm, finishing midfield in a field of eight before stepping up in class and distance, to contest the G3 Neville Sellwood (2000m). He made his run leaving the 500m and was wide on the turn but chased gamely in the straight, running second to Junoob by a head. Fitter again and at his best with sting out of the ground.
7. TREMEC – C Reith (3)
Returned after a horrible spring campaign in the G2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) where not surprisingly, he found the class too hot and the distance too short. He immediately stepped up to 2000m of the Listed Randwick City Stakes finishing second to last but took benefit form that run at his next and most recent start, the G3 Manion Cup (2400m), finishing third to The Offer and Opinion. That was his best run since winning this race last year as a 30/1 shot carrying only a kilo less than what he has been assigned here.
8. DESERT JEUNEY – G Schofield (10) 53kgs
Had his chance behind Entirely Platinum in the G3 Sky High Stakes (1900m) before never looking entirely comfortable on the wet conditions in the Manion Cup (2400m) and running second to last and almost eight lengths from winner, The Offer. That was his first run beyond 2000m and he should be better for it but whilst his form this prep has been solid, would not think good enough to win here.
9. LIKE A CAROUSEL – C Newitt (4) 53kgs
Finished midfield behind Cooldini in the Listed Roy Higgins (2600m) before heading over to Adelaide where he continued to close steadily in the G2 Australian Cup (3200m), running fourth to Outback Joe. That was his most recent run and came over a month ago now. Still only the one win from seventeen starts and aiming too high here.
10. RETORT COURTEOUS – J Moreira (11) 53kgs
He won a Class 2 at Kembla Grange (2400m) two starts back, his third career win from nineteen starts, before having his chance and finishing second in a BM 72 (2400m) at the same track. Faces a huge jump in class here, comes from the widest gate and only gets a 1.5kg relief from last start.
11. LUCKY LIASON – K O’Hara (8)
Going well in easier races, having won two of his last three in good style and will probably be in no better form to have a crack at a $300k race however, should find the company too good and struggle to fill a place.
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Pace here should be ok with Tremec, Opinion, Retort Courteous and Lucky Liaison, all pushing forward early. The Offer and Sertorius stand out as the two to concentrate on though. The Offer has registered to convincing wins in Stakes races at two starts on heavy whilst Sertorius, has placed three of four this campaign at WFA races and those efforts stack up exceptionally well in race like this. Hippopus and Epingle at some value, to round out the placings.
- THE OFFER