Matthew Smith trained Palazzo Pubblico was nominated for both Randwick and Caulfield this Saturday but has since got the go-ahead to take her spot in the latter, drawing barrier 2 in Group 1 Oakleigh Plate over 1100m.
It will be the second go in Group 1 company for the 6-year-old mare, getting a start in the Tattersall’s Tiara back in June 2016 in a field that included Miss Cover Girl, Azkadellia, Precious Gem and Danish Twist. A 2 time listed winner, Palazzo Pubblico has been eye-catching in recent runs, most notably coming from the rear of the field to run 3rd behind Memes and Boss lane in the Summer Sprint at Randwick.
The galloper by Conatus is the obvious outsider of the race, however is one of the main sectional stars, in fact primed for the 1100m trip after a very good showing without placing last start. Palazzo Pubblico was lightning in the final 600 to come home in 32.94, finishing 2 lengths off Lady Esprit and well-fancied Snitty Kitty.
Displaying obvious signs she will be more suited to 1100, she was flying through the finish line, hitting it at 64.75 kp/h. Not the first time she’s broken the 33-second barrier for the run home, the long-shot was also impressive behind Ball of Muscle and Crystal Dreamer in the Mumm Stakes at Flemington last year, finishing off in 32.72 to run 3rd. Boasting an impressive stake rate of placing 9 times from 15 starts over 1100m, she has won 4 in total including the listed Alinghi Stakes, interestingly at this track and distance.
Potentially one of the best rough-chances of the day, Palazzo Pubblico’s best time of 1:02.33 over the 1100m trip is actually the one of the best in the race, second to only out-of-sorts Sheidel who ran a 1:02.11 when winning this race last year. Unlucky to miss out on a track record, Matthew Smith’s galloper was less than a length off Felines at Hawkesbury last year when the 1100m record was shattered.
Palazzo Pubblico will carry just 53.5 kg and is currently a $126 shot with Sportsbet, who are offering an enormous $31 for the listed winner to fill the minors. Young gun Michael Dee will take the ride, chasing his 3rd group 1 win of the season.
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