The Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) is the final Group l of the Sydney Spring Carnival, and it promises to be a very intriguing race. History says that the favourite in the race struggles to greet the judge, with the top pick in betting failing to win in the past 10 years, so that doesn’t bode well for the John Thompston trained filly First Seal, who dominated her rivals in the Flight Stakes (1600m) last Saturday
But she won’t have it her own way with the up and coming star colt Sweynesse sure to be a more than worthy rival given he is unbeaten and did beat her first up at Rosehill. Chuck in Panzer Division, Hampton Court and Valentia, and you get one ripping edition of the Spring Champion.
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Race One (1:10pm) : TAB Betting Season Plate 1000m: Form Guide
Back Me: Very keen on Sebring Sun (Best Odds: $3.20) here. It was hard to get a guide on what level his two rivals are at in his trial win, but he won by nine lengths under a hold and ran sub 33 for his last 600m. For a first starter to do that in his first official trial on a shifty tells me he is a pretty good horse. Had he drawn a barrier I’d make him the best bet on the card, but I am still confident he can win given he is drawn to the immediate outside of his danger.
Big Danger: That danger is Brooklyn (Best Odds: $5.50) for Gai Waterhouse. This son of Hinchinbrook showed good speed in his barrier trial win at Kensington on September 22, winning by three lengths. He looks a ready made juvenile who will jump and run, so the wide barrier doesn’t really worry me with him, and he should give the top tip the drag over and those two may dominate from the front.
Roughie: Moral Outrage (Best Odds: $13.00) is the sneaky chance here for the Hayes/Dabernig team. His first trial at Kensington behind Rainbeam he wanted to hang out badly and had no idea what he was doing, but he then trialled a couple of weeks back at Rosehill and was much better there, winning by two lengths and racing more truly. He will get every chance from the good draw.
Race Two (1:50pm) : #Moetmoment Handicap (90) 2000m: Form Guide
Back Me: Looks to be a good race for Best Case (Best Odds: $3.00) to bounce back into the winners list. His two runs this time in have been fantastic. He was the best of the beaten brigade first up behind Entirely Platinum, then he went to the Shannon and made up a stack of ground to run fourth to Rock Sturdy. He has an excellent record at 2000m and beyond, with form around Criterion and Kushadasi, which is good enough to beat these, which he should.
Big Danger: Beyond Thankful (Best Odds: $15.00) was quite ordinary in two runs to kick off the Spring in Sydney, then Chris Waller sent him to Melbourne and he showed good improvement, running fourth at Flemintgon to Brambles (Group l placed since) and then an unlucky seventh to Longeron at Caulfield. Coming back to Sydney and should be ready to show his best, which is good enough to go close here, but he is hard to trust.
Roughie: Grand Marshall (Best Odds: $6.00) only has the one pace, but he keeps at it all the way in his races, like he did last start at Rosehill when narrowly beaten by Koukram. He just plugged after receiving every chance by Bowman, but I think a smaller field will ensure that he probably controls the speed with Order Of The Sun, and then he can turn into a real staying test, and he will run all day.
Race Three (2:25pm) : Cellarbrations Handicap (73) 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: I was quite impressed with the way Super Willie (Best Odds: $6.50) toughed it out to lead all the way to victory first up at Canterbury, beating home a similar field to what he faces here, with the addition of a tad more depth. I think he is better ridden with cover, so the bigger field should ensure that, and given he is a big strider, Randwick will suit him perfectly, as will the rise to 1400m. Looks a safe way to go here in what is a pretty handy benchmark race for the three year olds.
Big Danger: Wine Tales (Best Odds: $7.00) is one of many in this race for Chris Waller, with this filly resuming after a two run opening campaign in the Winter. She debuted with a dead heat win at Warwick Farm, then ran third to Delectation here. That form with that horse looks very good, and Wine Tales did trial very well recently at Rosehill behind Rubick. Expecting her to run well.
Roughie: Good Project (Best Odds: $5.50) comes back to racing after being freshened up following a placing here behind Testashadow in July. Trialled last week behind Rubick and was quite impressive I thought when fourth to the highly touted colt. 1400m first up tells me that Chris Waller has him wound up, so I am tipping a big run fresh.
Race Four (3:00pm) : Adina Apartment Hotels Handicap (84) 1600m: Form Guide
Back Me: Golden Aro (Best Odds: $4.80) has really found his form this time in. He won first up at Kembla, then was a narrow second at Wyong and Canterbury, before backing seven days later at Canterbury and bolting in by six lengths after settling off the speed. He carried 57kg there, now drops to 52kg, Winona Costin is in sparkling form and will relish the rise to the Randwick mile. Despite the class rise, he will take a power of beating.
Big Danger: Black Revolver (Best Odds: $4.20) just failed to pick up Malice when racing over this track/distance a few weeks back, coming from the back and charging late, which is exactly what he will do here. He can be costly to follow, and he has been beaten as favourite at his past two, so the patience of punters is wearing thin. Still, one of the hardest to beat.
Roughie: Pythageron (Best Odds: $8.50) beat Golden Aro in the race that horse ran second in at Canterbury. Pythageron stacked them up in front after doing work from the wide barrier and the win had plenty of merit in it. Untried at the mile, so it will be interesting to see what Blake Shinn does from the barrier, whether he presses forward again or ease back and come with one run.
Race Five (3:35pm) : Myer Spring Fashion Handicap 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: In a tricky little race, I’m putting Riva De Lago (Best Odds: $6.00) on top. There was solid money for him first up in the Bill Ritchie and I thought he was commendable in running sixth to Manawanui. The form out of that race has held up thanks to Rock Sturdy and Manawanui looks back to his best. Runs well second up and finds a pretty good race here I feel.
Big Danger: Charlie Boy (Best Odds: $5.00) bounced back to his best form with a fighting second to Famous Seamus last week in the Premiere. He had his chance though given the winner was wide with no cover, but it was Charlie Boys second run back since the Caulfield Guinea last year, so I am tipping more improvement and he drops big time in class.
Roughie: Big watch on the first up performance here of Sysmo (Best Odds: $17.00) for Tony McEvoy. He had a very good Spring/Summer last year, highlighted by a Seymour Cup triumph. Hasn’t raced since running fourth to I’m Imposing in the Summer Cup on Boxing Day, but he has been brought up to fitness with a couple of solid trial placings behind stablemate Swipeline, who we think will win this afternoon. Great fresh record and placed in all three 1400m outings.
Race Six (4:10pm) : Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes 2000m: Form Guide
Back Me: Sweynesse (Best Odds: $3.50) is a very good colt for Godolphin who is unbeaten in four career starts, three of those coming this prep, with the latest of those being a real determined Gloaming Stakes (1800m) victory at Rosehill a fortnight back. That is the proven form reference, with the last four editions of the Gloaming providing the winner of the Spring Champion. He is giving the impression that the further the races go, the better he will be. Shinn is riding better than any other jockey in Sydney at the moment, and with normal luck, he will just about win. Surprised he has drifted out in betting.
Big Danger: First Seal (Best Odds: $1.95) is one exciting filly who is taking on the boys now after destroying her rivals in the Flight Stakes (1600m) last Saturday. It normally isn’t a race for the fillies, so she adds plenty of intrigue to the event, and if she holds her form from last week, she will go very, very close. Just needs to be cuddled to run the 2000m.
Roughie: I certainly wouldn’t discount Hampton Court (Best Odds: $17.00). He might not have been much last Saturday in the Dulcify Quality (1600m), but the way he picked up after getting onto heels in the straight, and how strong he was through the line, tells me he will have no issues with the 2000m, and this is the race he has been set for since day one of this prep. I think his price is overs.
Race Seven (4:50pm) : McGrath Estate Agents Angst Stakes 1600m: Form Guide
Back Me: I am going for some value as my best bet on the program here in the shape of Danesiri (Best Odds: $21.00). She produced a barnstorming finish to win first up on Coffs Harbour Cup Day, then didn’t handle the bog surface here behind Supreme Warrior, who crawled them up in front, then she went to the Tibbie at Newcastle and had absolutely no luck at all in the straight and IMO, she would have gone close to winning had she got a clear run. She proved in the Autumn she can mix it with the better mares, with a placing behind Diamond Drille in the Aspiration over this track/distance. She’s looking for the mile and she gets it here.
Big Danger: This is D-Day for Gypsy Diamond (Best Odds: $4.60) and her Spring campaign. A fair run first up behind My Sabeel in the Toy Show, then two ordinary runs since have raised questions about where she is at. Well we will know after this race because she is back to mares grade, mile, firm track…no excuses now, she needs to run top three.
Roughie: Neena Rock (Best Odds: $3.00) has now produced two quality runs since coming over from New Zealand, firstly running a slashing third to Catkins in the Sheraco, then going to the Golden Pendant and again savaging the line late to run run fourth to Arabain Gold. That is the best form for a mare, so she has to go in as a serious threat.
Race Eight (5:30pm) : Xirrus Handicap (80) 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Three year old Law (Best Odds: $5.00) doesn’t really get in well at the weights against these older horses, but his form does read very well for a benchmark 80. First up he ran third to Nostradamus in the San Domenico, beaten two lengths, then didn’t handle the wet track in the Run To The Rose behind Hallowed Crown, who of course went on to win the Golden Rose. He has been back to the trials and went very well behind Rubick and Time For War, and with a possible firmer track here, expect a big run.
Big Danger: Getting close to D-Day for Atmospherical (Best Odds: $5.00), who has been beaten in her two runs this time in. I thought she had every chance when racing over this track/distance last time out when third to Boss Lane, but the pace in that race was very slow and Boss Lane was given a lovely ride by Sam Clipperton. For her supporters here, they’d want Swipeline to run along a bit and make it a genuinely run 1200m.
Roughie: Big watch here on Drago, who resumes after nearly a year off the racing track. He was last seen in the Victoria Derby last year when sixth to Polanski, while injury kept him out of the Autumn. He is back now, has had two trials and appears sharp enough to run well fresh. Also should be noted that the stable has nominated him for the Manikato and Darley Classic, so that gives you an indication of where they could be heading, and that he might have the zip in his legs fresh.
BEST BET: Race Seven Number 9 Danesiri
NEXT BEST: Race One Number 6 Sebring Sun
VALUE: Race Five Number 3 Riva De Lago
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Leg Two: 1, 8
Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 9
Leg Four: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 13
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All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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