Half the field for the Winter Cup has been scratched and Harper’s Choice looms as a major threat. The Street Cry gelding resumed from a freshen-up for second over 1800m at Rosehill before a tough run for fourth in over 2000m here last time out. The rise in trip looks ideal and he’ll be tough to beat with a light weight and Brenton Avdulla in the saddle.
The field for this year’s Civic Stakes is wide open from a betting perspective and Faraway Town is a horse that appeals at each-way odds. The Not A Single Doubt mare was outstanding in autumn and won a stakes race, and she returned from a freshen-up last week to place third at Randwick on heavy going. She’s drawn and weighted well and has the added advantage of in-form hoop Rachel King in the saddle.
Tradesman will be stepping out for his third race in as many weeks this afternoon and will be extremely difficult to beat again. The Trade Fair gelding ran a smart second to Egg Tart in the Group 2 PJ O’Shea Stakes (2200m) here, before winning the Listed Ipswich Cup (2350m) a fortnight ago. He was unlucky to just miss when second in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup last weekend and looks to have a class edge over his rivals today.
Aqua Vite failed to fire last time out but will relish a return to heavy going today and looks over the odds at his current double-figure price. The Northern Meteor gelding ran home well to finish second in both the Listed Gold Coast Cup (1400m) and Listed Members’ Handicap (1600m), and will have similar conditions this afternoon. A drop in distance looks ideal.