Ballot-free entry into the Ladbrokes Cox Plate goes on the line at The Valley on Saturday, when an open field of milers contest the Group 2 Feehan Stakes.
All nine races on the card have drawn talented and deep fields, and there’s great value to be found in every contest.
I’ve run the rule over the lot, and you can find my complete 2021 Feehan Stakes Day Tips below.
This is a drop in class for Rock Artist and I am confident that he will be in the finish.
The Wandjina gelding recorded consecutive wins at Moe and here at The Valley when resuming, but was slightly out of his depth when sixth in the McKenzie Stakes a fortnight ago.
He looks to be at peak fitness for this contest and Jye McNeil can give him a good steer from barrier 6.
This is another rise in class, but Mr Brightside has continued to jump as the bar has been lifted, and it looks a great opportunity for him to win on a Saturday.
The Bullbars gelding broke his maiden at Geelong in July and simply hasn’t looked back, winning in BM64 company and BM70 company at Sandown.
He’s three weeks between runs, but needs only even luck to be in the finish again.
This is a drop in class for the second-up Generation, and I think that he’ll be winning.
The well-bred colt won each of his first career starts on debut in April and May, and he returned from a short back to fill the minors in the Neds Vain Stakes.
Given that he’ll take plenty of improvement for that effort and will clearly relish the easiest task, he is my best bet on the program.
Lightning couldn’t strike twice and Pancho couldn’t win two in a row, right?
I actually rate the horse, and I think that he’s finally starting to deliver on what he hinted at during his early three-year-old campaign, but this is a substantially tougher race and I simply have to take him on.
I’m going to take him on with Dr Drill.
Dr Drill has been a good horse for the Maher & Eustace stable for several seasons now, and he has been freshened since finishing a length and a half behind Schabau at Flemington.
We can have an each-way play at the price, in what looks to be one of the more open contests on the program.
The McEwen Stakes is always an outstanding contest and this year’s edition looks to be a particularly strong one, with several Group 1 winners confirmed for a start.
Portland Sky was very impressive in autumn, but I am going to take him on with the market’s second-elect, September Run.
September Run’s resuming effort in the Black Caviar Lightning in autumn was nothing short of outstanding, and while she failed to capitalise on it and add another win to her CV, it was enough for me to be confident that she is the best fresh horse in this race.
Mac ‘N’ Cheese can record another win in the Atlantic Jewel Stakes.
She’s only made three appearances at the races so far, but she has been excellent on each occasion, running second at her first two and breaking her maiden in the Listed Oaklands Stakes.
She’s around six weeks between runs, but she harbours residual fitness and at around the $9 mark, we can have an each-way play.
This is a very, very strong edition of the Ladbrokes Chautauqua Stakes, and it could very well prove to be the contest of the day at The Valley.
With a case to be made for several contestants, I’m going to give Ancestry another chance under the in-form Brett Prebble.
Ancestry won at Listed level here at The Valley most notably last time, and I’m confident that he’ll take plenty of improvement from his resuming effort for fifth in the Carlyon Stakes a fortnight ago.
He’ll need some luck at the draw, but I’m happy to dive in at around the $14 mark.
Former West Aussie Superstorm returned a lovely effort in his first start for the Danny O’Brien stable, and he looms as a key winning chance in the Feehan Stakes.
Superstorm has been an outstanding horse throughout his career, but found a peak (so far) during the 2020 Autumn Carnival, at which he ran second in both the Australian Guineas and the All-Star Mile.
He was only a length and a half behind Sierra Sue in the PB Lawrence three weeks ago and he will relish getting out to a mile.
I’m also going to have a saver on The Chosen One.
The Chosen One will certainly improve as he gets further out in trip, but he invariably pulls out a big run when fresh, and has missed placing only once in six previous fresh attempts.
I’m going to stick with Viral in the last on Feehan Stakes Day.
Viral has continued to improve with racing this time, finishing second behind King Magnus at Caulfield two back and beating some classy gallopers to the line here last time.
He’s rock-hard fit and Craig Williams retains the ride.