Race 1 - 12:10pm
Strawberry Hill Stud Handicap (1300m)
Eight three-year-olds remain in contention for the first on Chelmsford Stakes Day following the early scratching of Darling Point, and there is a case to be made for several.
Funstar will resume from a short break and I will be happy to have something on her to continue her unbeaten career start. A sister to Youngstar, Funstar stamped herself as a filly to follow whens he recorded an easy win on debut at Canterbury and franked that performance with another smart win in a Saturday race. This is her toughest task so far, but she looks an outstanding type and has trialled well in the lead-up to this.
2 Units Funstar
Race 2 - 12:50pm
Highway Class 3 Handicap (1200m)
Logan River has continued to improve with racing this time and is ready to win when he steps out in this week’s Highway race. The Mitch Beer-trained galloper recorded a decent win at the Sapphire Coast three back, before running on late to finish second at Albury. He was unlucky not miss a place when just pipped on the line at Warwick Farm last week. He has a class edge over the lion’s share of these rivals and is over the odds and a double-figure price.
1 Unit E/W Logan River
Race 3 - 1:25pm
Might And Power For CRP Sprint (1100m)
Ballistica returned a smart performance to win an easier race first-up this time and will take plenty of improvement into the third at Randwick on Saturday. The Bjorn Baker-trained mare mustered an eye-catching turn of foot on the good going and this does looks a good opportunity for her to continue her rise through the grades. Baker’s horses are flying and the booking of Tim Clark to ride is also positive.
1 Unit Ballistica
Race 4 - 2:00pm
Sydney Markets Handicap (1200m)
Baller resumed with a credible effort to finish less than two lengths off the winner in Group 3 company and will relish a drop in class on Chelmsford Stakes Day. The High Chaparral entire stamped himself as a horse to follow during the autumn, and there is little doubt that he’ll enjoy good improvement off his first-up effort. Nash Rawiller takes the rise and with even luck, he’ll take a power of beating.
3 Units Baller
Race 5 - 2:35pm
Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m)
Six rivals have been confirmed for outstanding filly Libertini in the Silver Shadow Stakes but understandably, betting suggests that it is her race to lose. The Anthony Cummings-trained three-year-old has recorded four wins from her five career starts and is undefeated this time in, including an easy win in the Group 2 Silver Shadow a fortnight ago. She’s drawn ideally and probably wins easily again, but the $1.20 on offer at publish means that I’m happy to watch.
Race 6 - 3:10pm
Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1300m)
Only six horses have accepted into the Concorde, but it’s the race of the day at a canter. All six are winning chances, all but two have won at Group 1 level and all are resuming. What a contest this is going to be.
I’ll be eager to have something on Sunlight, who looks to be the value in the market at publish ($5.50). Sunlight capped her last spring prep with a dominant win in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and returned in autumn in even better form; adding the Newmarket and the William Reid to her mantle most notably. Somehow it still seems like she’s a little under the radar and is every chance of taking this first-up.
2 Units Sunlight
Race 7 - 3:50pm
Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m)
Avilius is a class above his rivals in the Chelmsford Stakes and it looks his race to lose. The Pivotal gelding has been a revelation since arriving in Australia and has recorded several impressive wins in Group 1 company. There was a lot to like about the way he hit the line in the Winx Stakes first-up, in what was a reasonably luckless run and he’ll take huge improvement from that hit-out, while the rise in trip will also suit. He is my best bet of the day.
4 Units Avilius
Race 8 - 4:30pm
Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m)
The highly anticipated Australian debut of Kiwi star Te Akau Shark is set to take place in the Tramway Stakes and his reputation is echoed in betting. The Rip Van Winkle gelding was undefeated through three starts in his homeland last time in, and his first-up effort to finish second behind Endless Drama in the Group 2 Foxbridge three weeks ago was enormous. James McDonald takes the ride and with even luck, I think he’s going to take a world of beating.
There’s always some doubt on a horse making it’s debut in a different country and I’m going to have a small saver on Eckstein, who harbours a fitness edge over plenty of these.
3 Units Te Akau Shark
0.5 Units E/W Eckstein
Race 9 - 5:10pm
Nexon Handicap (1500m)
Roheryn returned a rare flat effort as the favourite at Randwick two weeks ago, but I’m happy to give him another chance in the last on Chelmsford Stakes Day (should he gain a start). The Godolphin gelding is clearly a horse of good ability and has recorded three wins and a close-up second from only five career starts. The increase in trip looks ideal and he will have a change of gear.
2 Units Roheryn