2021 Festival Stakes Day Preview


We’ll be treated to ten quality races at Rosehill Gardens on 2021 Festival Stakes Day.

The rail will be left in the true position around the entire course and at publish, we’re faced with a track rated in the Soft (7) range.

Race 1 - 12:20pm AEDT

Elite Sand & Soil Handicap (1100m)

Lady Laguna won on debut at Eagle Farm earlier this month and she can make it two from two at Rosehill Gardens on Festival Stakes Day.

The Overshare filly showed ability at the trials prior to debuting, and she put the writing on the wall in her first start.

This is probably a harder race, but she’ll take plenty of improvement from that experience, and she is drawn to receive a nice run.

2 Units Lady Laguna

Race 2 - 12:55pm AEDT

Highway Handicap (1200m)

Testator Silens hasn’t returned a poor effort since debuting, and he can win this week’s Highway race.

The Star Witness gelding stamped himself as one to follow with an easy win on debut at Moruya, and he franked that performance with another eye-catching win in Class 1 company.

He takes his place in this field fourth-up and following a credible third placing in a similar contest here at Rosehill, and I think he’ll prove tough to beat.

3 Units Testator Silens

Race 3 - 1:30pm AEDT

Midway Handicap (2000m)

Jesse James has been a strong and consistent performer since resuming, and he can record another win in this week’s Midway Handicap.

The Reliable Man gelding incredibly finished second in each of his four trips to the races last prep, but got the monkey off his back with an impressive fresh effort and win at Goulburn this time.

He hasn’t missed placing in three subsequent starts, highlighted by another soft win in Class 1 company, and he was last seen filling the minors over 1800m here at Rosehill.

3 Units Jesse James

Race 4 - 2:05pm AEDT

Listed ATC Cup (2000m)

The first feature on Festival Stakes Day will see a small but classy field of stayers contest the ATC Cup, and I am happy to give Polly Grey another chance.

She failed to fire a shot first-up in the Hot Danish Stakes, but she’s been back to the trials since that effort, and I’m confident that it will have brought her right on.

We know how good she can be at her best, and she typically finds that under the guidance of James McDonald.

4 Units Polly Grey

Race 5 - 2:40pm AEDT

EliteGroup. Sydney Handicap (1100m)

Undeniable has been building up to another big performance and win, and I think that he can get it on Festival Stakes Day.

The Matt Smith-trained galloper recorded back-to-back victories at Wyong and here at Rosehill in September and October, and he has kept all of her best work for late, finishing second at each of her last two starts.

She’s rock-hard fit, handles the wet and with even luck, I can’t find a reason why she won’t be in the finish.

5 Units Undeniable

Race 6 - 3:20pm AEDT

Elite Haulage Handicap (1800m)

Welsh Legend will enjoy plenty of improvement into her second campaign start, and getting out to 1800m on Festival Stakes Day.

The Camelot mare has returned plenty of quality performances throughout her career, and she has picked off several targets not dissimilar to this along the way.

She finished a credible fifth, beaten just over two lengths over 1400m here when resuming earlier this month, and she is mare who typically enjoys sharp improvement with a run under her belt.

4 Units Welsh Legend

Race 7 - 4:00pm AEDT

Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m)

The day’s sprint feature has drawn a field of usual suspects, including Southern Lad.

Southern Lad has made races like this one his bread and butter since debuting, and he is a multiple black type winner.

The Ocean Park gelding returned to the races for an eye-catching victory in BM100 at Randwick on Melbourne Cup Day, and he has been kept up to the mark with a trial.

He goes well on a rain-affected track, Nash Rawiller rides from a good draw, and the horse can make his presence felt again.

3 Units Southern Lad

Race 8 - 4:40pm AEDT

Group 3 Festival Stakes (1500m)

A talented field will contest this year’s Festival Stakes including Ellsberg, our early favourite.

There is no denying Ellsberg’s talent, and I can completely understand his market favouritism, but the are several winning chances engaged in my opinion, and he is under the odds.

The one that I have landed on is Gem Song.

Gem Song has been a great horse for the Lees stable throughout his career, and his second-up record is nothing short of outstanding.

He clearly needed his resuming effort when seventh, beaten five lengths by Lost And Running in The Hunter, but I am confident that run will have brought him right on, and we can have a genuine each-way play at his current price ($26 at publish).

2 Units E/W Gem Song

Race 9 - 5:20pm AEDT

Elite Turf Handicap (1300m)

I’m keen to stick with Brookspire in the penultimate race on Festival Stakes Day.

Brookspire has picked off some lovely races during her career, and she resumed in August for an easy win on the Kensington course at Randwick before finishing fifth, beaten just over a length by the likes of Love Tap at Kembla Grange.

She has been freshened since that effort, relishes a soft track and can return a winner.

5 Units Brookspire

Race 10 - 6:00pm AEDT

Elite Quarry Products Handicap (1500m)

Another tough race to end the day from a betting perspective, but it maps well for Too Much Caviar, and I am happy to have something on.

Too Much Caviar led all the way at Randwick when resuming, and he was pipped by a couple of good ones here last time.

Fitter third-up, Jean Van Overmeire can take him straight to the lead from the rails draw and he can make every post a winner.

3 Units Too Much Caviar