Racenet previews Newmarket Handicap/Australian Cup Day

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The time-honoured Newmarket Handicap and The Australia Cup are the feature races at Flemington on Saturday with the Randwick Guineas and Canterbury Stakes top of the bill in Sydney.

Flemington Racecourse

Race 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) Group 2

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Holyfield puts an unbeaten record on the line in the Sires Produce after defeating the Inglis Millenium winner Prime Star at Newcastle on debut before winning over 1400m at Sandown last start with that proven ability at the journey giving the son of I Am Invincible the edge over Larimer Street, which is still a maiden but was the unlucky runner in the Inglis Millenium after being held up at a vital time.

The tip: (3) Holyfield ($4.80)

Race 6 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) Group I

Three-year-olds look set to dominate this year’s Newmarket Handicap with Bivouac and Exceedance on the top line of betting ahead of the filly Loving Gaby. Exceedance resumes after winning the Group I Coolmore over the Spring Carnival at the track and distance. Hasn’t trialled but no doubt Hawkes Racing will have him ready to go first-up. Bivouac was a touch disappointing resuming in the Oakleigh Plate after winning the Golden Rose in the spring before a close second in the Coolmore but can bounce back. Loving Gaby won the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley before spelling and produced the night’s best sectionals when third in the Lightning resuming. Nothing between the three but tipping Exceedance gets the chocolates. 

The tip: (6) Exceedance ($4.50)

Race 8 Australian Cup (2000m) Group I 

The likelihood of a wet track for racing at Flemington on Saturday sways me the way of Avilius in the Australian Cup. His sectionals when fourth to Te Akau Shark in the Chipping Norton at Randwick last Saturday weren’t far behind the winner and there is little doubt Avilius is a better prospect with some rain about. Kings Will Dream is ready to win third-up after placing in the C.F. Orr and Peter Young Stakes in his two runs this time in and won’t spend a penny in the run launching from the inside gate. The Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare shouldn’t be underestimated tackling the 2000m first-up and Harlem has won the last two Australian Cups and is a must include in all the exotics after having no luck in his two runs this time in.

The tip: (2) Avilius ($3.60)

Randwick Racecourse

Race 5 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) Group I

Alizee is the best weighted horse under the WFA scale in the Canterbury Stakes and love the fact she stays at a sprint journey third-up. She hit the line strongly when runner-up in the Expressway resuming two back before winning the Apollo last start and 1300m looks perfect. Standout was too good for Alizee in the Expressway but has another 100m to travel and the Godolphin mare has improved with racing. Savatiano could not have been more impressive winning the Millie Fox and looks a great chance to register her first Group I win. Slight edge to Alizee for mine.

The tip: (4) Alizee ($4.20)

Race 6 Challenge Stakes (1000m) Group II

The Challenge Stakes is officially a Group II however the 2020 edition with Santa Ana Lane, Nature Strip and Redzel clashing is Group I class. Nature Strip was a beaten odds on favourite in the Lightning at Flemington resuming and has to be given another chance. Santa Ana Lane has won the T.J. Smith and finished second in the Everest at his last two starts over the Randwick 1200m and has to be respected fresh after a couple of solid trials at Werribee and Rosehill and the dual Everest winner Redzel continues to race with gusto and is right in play after finishing a length second in the Lightning at Flemington resuming. Going for Santa Ana Lane at the odds

The tip: (1) Santa Ana Lane ($6.50)

Race 7 Randwick Guineas (1600m) Group I

Brandenburg, Reloaded and Microphone filled the placings in the Hobartville Stakes leaving Shadow Hero, Castelvecchio and Warning in their wake but reckon it will be a different story in the Guineas. Shadow Hero won the Spring Champion Stakes defeating Castelvecchio and of course the latter went on to finish a gallant second in the Cox Plate with Warning claiming the Victoria Derby during Melbourne Cup week. Confident one of the three will win and all were good from the back in the Hobartville which was dominated by the on pacers. Shadow Hero has finished in front of Castelvecchio on the three occasions they have met in races and whilst Warning had Shadow Hero’s measure in the Victoria Derby, he might need further to get a similar result. Shadow Hero the top pick for mine.

The tip: (5) Shadow Hero ($4.60)

What do you think?