Epsom Handicap Day is one of the crown jewels of the Sydney Spring Carnival as we set our sights on three Group 1’s at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The $1.5 million feature is complimented by The Metropolitan and the Flight Stakes between the three-year-old fillies, setting up an exciting 10-race card with no shortage of value on offer.
Rain is expected earlier in the week, meaning we could be racing on a soft track come race day.
We’ve analysed the entire program and our best bets ahead of Epsom Handicap Day can be found below!
Capital Reign boasts a perfect 2-0 record over this journey and could not have been more impressive two weeks ago at Newcastle when he gapped his rivals by over two lengths in the Hurricane Handicap.
The lightly-raced son of Capitalist has won four from five since debuting for Gary Portelli back in April, while he’s also done some of his best racing on rain-affected going.
This is a step up racing against Saturday grade for the first time, but it looks the next logical step for him and I think he measures up.
Tough to get a feel for this race with all 12 runners facing the starter for the first time.
Happy to sit this one out.
Another tricky one to lineup with all 14 on debut.
Resonator won his trial on the Kensington track with plenty in hand two weeks ago and has Nash Rawiller steering from an ideal draw.
Victory Moments has also flashed potential winning both his trials leading in.
Kiss the Bride loves racing here at Randwick, as we saw two weeks ago when he put nearly three lengths between himself and his rivals over the same distance.
He’ll carry a little extra weight for his efforts this time around, but this really doesn’t look any tougher for him with Joshua Parr jumping back in the saddle.
The son of Savabeel does some of his best work on rain-affected going and should get a nice cart into the race from out wide.
Verry Elleegant was an early scratching once fields were announced, leaving Think It Over as the short-priced favourite in the Yulong Stales.
The son of So You Think was the winner of the Chelmsford two back over the mile and held his ground well to finish third to Verry Elleegant and Riodini in the George Main a fortnight ago.
He’s rock-hard fit for three runs back, and should find this much easier against a small field.
Masked Crusader returned to the races in style with a win in The Heath at Caulfield first-up, and I’m happy to forgive him on his latest effort in The Shorts when fifth.
He copped a bit of a check just out of the gates that interrupted his stride, which didn’t see him get going until it was too late down the straight.
His best is definitely better than that, and since he owns four wins from five starts over 1200m, I think he can bounce back here, especially with some sting out of the track.
Four Moves Ahead scored a well-deserved win two weeks ago in the Tea Rose where she went straight to the front and found an extra gear in the concluding stages.
She over-raced a little coming out of the turn, and while Nash Rawiller does have the wide gate to compete with, I think he’ll still have plenty to work with if he can get her to settle.
The lightly-raced filly by Snitzel was outstanding in her two-year-old season, just missing out on the minor money behind Stay Inside in the Golden Slipper, and Anamoe in the Inglis Sires’.
The step up to the mile looks the logical step for her now, and the form she showed a fortnight ago is good enough to win this.
The wide barrier leaves Tommy Berry with some work to do, but the value on dual Group 1 winner Mo’unga is tough to pass up.
The Savabeel entire returned to the races with a win over Verry Elleegant in the Winx Stakes last month, and put in a real fight against current Caulfield Cup favourite Incentivise for second last time out in the Makybe Diva Stakes over the mile.
He’s won third-up previously, while the fact he handles all going is a huge plus, and if Berry can shuffle across early, I’m confident he’ll make his presence felt late.
The Metropolitan is one of the most wide-open races on Saturday’s program, and there really is a case to be made for a few.
Entente goes on top for mine after last week’s dominant win in the Colin Stephen Quality on the short backup at Rosehill.
The son of Dundeel is racing on a quick turnaround for the second week in a row, which indicates the red-hot Waterhouse and Bott team think he’s ready to go ahead of his first Group 1 assignment.
The five-year-old has shown he can handle wet tracks in the past, while his previous third to She’s Ideel and Montefilia in the Kingston Town Stakes a fortnight ago is tough to ignore.
The winner of the Stephen Quality has gone on to win The Metropolitan 21 times in the past, and Barrier 4 should give Tim Clark plenty of time to get back and run on.
Rocketing By owns an impressive first-up record and also claimed the Inglis Sprint over this track and distance during the autumn.
The So You Think entire has looked ultra-impressive in two trial runs leading in and also features a pair of wins on soft going.
Barrier 11 leaves Hugh Bowman with plenty of options and the pair should be doing their best work late stepping back in grade.