Dual Everest winner Redzel will be searching for back to back wins in the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Redzel will carry the number one saddlecloth and will lead out a very high quality line up of sprinters that includes Group 1 winners Brave Smash, Santa Ana Lane, Redkirk Warrior, Jungle Cat, Kementari, U S Navy Flag and In Her Time.
Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy will again be aboard Redzel after partnering the Peter and Paul Snowden trained sprinter to his two wins in the 2017 and 2018 $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick as well as last year’s win in the VRC Sprint Classic that was called the Darley Classic in 2017.
We have analysed all 14 runners and our complete 2018 VRC Sprint Classic tips can be found below.
Redzel is lining up for back to back wins in the VRC Sprint Classic and heads to Flemington with the same form as last year after scoring consecutive wins in The Everest (1200m) at Randwick at his last start. The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel will jump from the middle of the pack at barrier eight in the fourteen horse field and will be the one to run down again with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle again. Great chance to go back to back wins in the VRC Sprint Classic.
The Darren Weir trained Brave Smash heads into the VRC Sprint Classic with Group 1 winning form after claiming the Manikato Stakes over 1200m at The Valley two weeks ago. Brave Smash is a tough Group 1 competitor and has had one run down the Flemington straight for a nose second to Redkirk Warrior in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap during the 2018 Melbourne Autumn Carnival. Always a chance in this type of race.
Santa Ana Lane
Three times Group 1 winner Santa Ana Lane failed on a heavy Randwick track last start in The Everest and will be better suited back on top of the ground in VRC Sprint Classic. Has had three unplaced runs at Flemington and place chances appear best in a tough field.
Redkirk Warrior loves the Flemington straight with three wins over the same course and distance as the VRC Sprint Classic plus one over 1000m down the straight. The Lindsay Park trained sprinter is having his first run back in Australia since finishing tenth in the Group 1 £500,000 Darley July Cup (6 furlongs) at Newmarket in England in July and does race well fresh and is always a chance down the Flemington straight.
Jungle Cat is a stablemate of Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter and has already shown his class in Australia with a win in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in September. Trainer Charlie Appleby has freshened up Jungle Cat since his latest thirteenth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) but the seven year old will be having his first look at the Flemington straight.
Pierata is another who will be having his first look at Flemington in the VRC Sprint Classic and heads to Melbourne a last start winner in the Group 1 Sydney Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Everest Day. Is yet to win at Group 1 level and will have to live up to his stable’s high rating if he is to get past some of these seasoned Group 1 performers.
Kementari is unplaced from two runs at Flemington but could turn that around if he repeats his eye catching run last start at The Valley when he came from near last to fill third spot in the Manikato Stakes. Glyn Schofield has retained the ride and the James Cummings trained four year old will be storming home at the finish again. Each way claims.
Spirit Of Valor
Spirit Of Valor is the first of four Aidan O’Brien trained sprinters to line up in the VRC Sprint Classic. Spirit Of Valor put in an outstanding effort in the Manikato Stakes last start to finish a close up second to Brave Smash after being in the firing line from the start after jumping from the outside barrier. Has each way claims again if he can repeat that effort.
Intelligemce Cross is another from the powerful Aidan O’Brien stable but is yet to match it with the locals at two starts in Australia with unplaced efforts in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield and in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes at The Valley. No easier here.
U S Navy Flag
The Aidan O’Brien trained U S Navy Flag arrived in Australia on the back of a win in the Group 1 July Cup over 1200m down the Newmarket straight in England. The front running U S Navy Flag needs to find his best form quickly after being well off the pace in his two runs in Australia in The Everest and in the Maniakto Stakes. Back on the straight course at Flemington could see the four year return to form.
Fleet Review is the last of the Aidan O’Brien runners and has been well beaten at his two Australian starts in the Schillaci Stakes and the Manikato Stakes and looks tested again in the VRC Sprint Classic.
In Her Time
In Her Time broke through for a Group 1 win in The Galaxy at Rosehill during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival followed by a third in the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes at Randwick. The Kris Lees trained mare was well beaten last start in The Everest on a heavy track and will be better suited back on top of the ground at Flemington on the weekend.
Spright has been amongst the minor prizemoney at her last two starts in the Group 1 Moir Stakes and the Manikato Stakes at The Valley. The Garry Frazer trained mare made up good ground when fourth in the Manikato Stakes and a repeat performance could see her pick up a share of the cash again.
Invincible Star wasn’t disgraced last start when fifth to Brave Smash in the Manikato Stakes at The Valley and the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained mare is facing similar opposition here.