The Star 150th Epsom 1600m - Group 1
Fantastic contest here and once again Chris Waller holds a strong hand. Historically the females have struggled to win this race but this year could be different. Expecting the track to be somewhere in the Good 3 range and there looks to be a decent enough tempo which should leave no excuses for those coming from the back.
HOOKED: won well first up over 1400m before dropping out badly to finish last in the George Main last start. Gets top weight in this handicap although the 2kg weight spread gives him every chance. Draws well and will get a great run, he can bounce back. Place chance.
LUCIA VALENTINA: Comes into this 3rd up from a break where her record is 4 starts for 3 wins and a placing. Only finished 2.5L off Kermadec last start and her 2nd up runs are always her worst so that is fairly encouraging. Looking for longer than 1600m but gets the aid of a good barrier and what looks to be a decent tempo. Zac Purton booked for the ride (he is also riding her in the Cox Plate) so she will get every chance.
ENTIRELY PLATINUM: has returned in great order and looks to have made the step up to be a genuine WFA Group 1 horse. First up he went down by a nostril to Boban before being beaten by half a length in the Makybe Diva. Draws wide so he will be looking to cross over early to either lead or sit outside Ecuador. If the tempo is slow he will have every chance to win.
WINX: her win first up in the Theo Marks was the best win I've seen from a horse in a while. Her final 200m was absolutely scintillating and proved that she has the ability to be a superstar. Draws wide here but she will go back anyway. Has to carry weight but the 2kg spread negates that a bit and she's been aimed at this race all along. Has to overcome the female hoodoo but I think she's your winner.
MESSENE: has started to regain some sort of form with a couple of placings in Group 2 races. Has a good record at 1600m but he would need to improve quite significantly if he was to win this.
RUDY: has been running well in Group 2 and Group 3 races so far this prep but they have all been on his favoured wet tracks. With the track expected to be firm his chances are hampered. Does have a good record at 1600m and he comes into this as a place chance.
SILVERBALL: Another great hope for Waller. Won well in a Group 3 over 2000m last start and has been freshened up for this race over 1600m which is the same tactic Waller used for last year's Epsom winner He's Your Man. Silverball has a great record over 1600m and with the drop in weight as well as the good draw he will have every chance. Not sure he can beat his stablemate Winx, although he will get first run on her.
ECUADOR: comes into this 3rd up from a spell so should be at peak fitness. Has only finished outside the top two in one of his 4 runs over 1600m and looks to be the likely leader from barrier 7. He was good first up before disappointing as favourite in a Group 3 last start. He needs to improve but stands a chance of placing.
KIRRAMOSA: Her form doesn't read as well as she is actually going at the moment. All three runs this prep have been good and she ran on well to finish 3 lengths behind Kermadec last start. I think we'll see the best of her over 2000m+ and a few of these could be too slick over 1600m, but she is going well.
SWEYNESSE: Really looking for 2000m in my opinion but comes into this 3rd up so should be about ready to fire, and he probably hasn't been suited by the soft tracks in his first two runs back from a break. Drawn awkwardly but with a firmer track he could improve sharply, especially with the addition of the tongue tie. Godolphin's top shot so looks value to me.
SADLER'S LAKE: The third of Waller's chances in the race. Two runs for two wins so far this prep and both have been pretty impressive. Possibly prefers the tracks a bit softer as she has got in both those wins, so it will be interesting to see how she handles the firm ground today. Great record over 1600m and a great record at Randwick too; gets a good draw and won't be surprised to see her run feature in the finish.
SONS OF JOHN: Returned with a fantastic run in the Theo Marks where he deserved to win but was just beaten by what could be a superstar in Winx. The step up to 1600m will suit him but he is drawn in the carpark which could give him some grief. Worse off at the weights with Winx and he won't beat her but he can place if he gets a good ride.
MALICE: Runner up in a Group 3 at Newcastle last start and the 2kg weight spread really doesn't help his cause here. Looks to be outclassed but does have the aid of Joao Moreira in the saddle. Not for me.
TERONADO: Brisbane galloper having a throw at the stumps here. Getting back onto a firm track will suit him but he is severely outclassed here and the weight scale decreases his chances even further.
PRESSING: Handy little horse on his day and placed behind Disposition last start which has worked out to be great form but off 56kg here his task looks to be a very tough one.
Just can't go past WINX after her unbelievable win last start. She was only first up on that occasion and should be even better 2nd up today. The stable have aimed her at this all along and she is the clear top pick. SWEYNESSE gets the addition of a tongue tie today and back onto a dry surface could see him improve sharply. He can give this a shake at big odds. Lucia Valentina has an outstanding record 3rd up from a spell and has Zac Purton booked to ride; expect her to run well. SILVERBALL follows a similar path to last year's winner He's Your Man and should be thereabouts, while Hooked, Entirely Platinum and Sons Of John are all place chances.
1st - WINX
2nd - SWEYNESSE
3rd - SILVERBALL
4th - LUCIA VALENTINA
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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