Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for the $110,000 Alice Springs Cup at Pioneer Park on Monday, May 6th.
The feature race of the day is Race 8 on the card and attracts a field of 12 to line up over the 2000m.
We've highlighted the main chances in the race and given our selections below!
The red-hot favourite for the race is (5) Savatoxl, who is a three-year-old with eight wins from nine career starts. The one time he lost was almost a year to the day, which was his third career start. He drifted from $2.45 to $3.50 in the market, sat wide without cover, then went back to the rails in the straight where the run closed and eventually he finished 5th in a field of 7. He went out for a spell immediately after that race and hasn't looked back, winning his next six straight. He comes into this on the back of an easy victory in the Chief Minister's Cup over the mile and is a deserved favourite. All nine of his starts have been at this track and although this is his toughest test to date, he looks well and truly capable of winning again. The one query has to be the step up to 2000m, a distance he's yet to try. He should jump straight to the lead and take plenty of beating, but it wouldn't shock me to see something pester him up front to try and test his staying ability.
If you're keen to take him on, there's obviously a bit of value around given he takes up such a large chunk of the market. (9) Electric Crimson looks one of the main hopes of testing him. He's fourth up after a 34-week spell. He was beaten 4.8L by Savatoxl last start but he settled a long way back in the field and worked home nicely. He gets a 4kg weight swing on Savatoxl today and alo draws much better in barrier 2, which should see him sit much further forward. He's a 9YO now and has had 56 starts, so he's not got the upside that Savatoxl does, but he should be a place chance.
(2) Ash Grey is one I expect to run better than his $17 quote might suggest. He won second up but his past two starts have been a bit questionable. Two starts back he was a drifting favourite and was forced to sit wide without cover the entire race, dropping out to finish second last. Last start he bumped into Savatoxl where he sat well back in the field and had a chequered run to the post, eventually beaten 8.7L. His only start at this track and distance was last year when he won this race. He went into that in good form and was well-backed to win. He's obviously not quite in the same form but his past two starts have definitely been slightly forgiveable. Don't dismiss.
Michael Hickmott is always worth giving a lot of respect to in these races. He brings (6) Lieder back to the NT for another crack at a Cup. He ran 2nd in the Darwin Cup last year. He won over this distance at Morphettville three starts ago and although his past two starts have only been fair, I'd suggest he's been preparing for this race given he dropped back to 1500m and then back up to 1900m last start. He's yet to miss a place at this distance from six starts and he's always competitive in races in the Northern Territory. Respect him.
(12) Jaxim can challenge for a place. He's placed in all seven starts this prep, and has only ever missed a place once from 12 starts at the track.
1st (5) SAVATOXL
2nd (9) Electric Crimson
3rd (6) Lieder
4th (2) Ash Grey
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