The first Stakes race of the new season looks set to be an absolute ripper with two Group 1 winners and one of the most exciting young sprinters in South Australia in the field.
While the Lindsey Smith trained Scales of Justice is the warm favourite for the race after his strong last start win in Melbourne, the race hasn’t always been kind to the favourites with only three of the last ten coming from the top of the market.
Trainer Tony McEvoy will be looking to go back to back after winning the race last year with Dollar for Dollar. He has two chances in the race with Despatch and Brown Ben, while Hall of Fame trainer Leon Macdonald will be hoping for his fifth win in the race with his two runners Waging War and Dalasan.
Scales of Justice
The 2016 Group 1 Railway Stakes winner absolutely smashed his rivals in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes last start at Caulfield. He’s ultra-consistent over the trip with five starts at the 1200m for one win and four second placings. He also has a fantastic second-up record with two wins and four placings from seven starts. Looks the one to beat.
Our Group 1 Goodwood winner from earlier in the year returns to the track that he loves where he’s had four wins from six starts. The McEvoy trained gelding is undefeated in three goes first-up and barrier one has produced two winners in the last ten years. Has to be a massive chance off his form last preparation.
His dad Rebel Raider won this race back in 2010 and while he loves the 1200m he perhaps just hasn’t recaptured the form of last spring where he ran sixth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap. Outside chance.
Narrowly missed a placing in the Goodwood here in May over the same distance. Really enjoys the 1200m at Morphettville with two wins and three placings from six starts. His trainer Richard Jolly won this race as a jockey back in 1997 on Hero Wind. Outsider but would love a wet track.
The Goodwood runner-up is apparently heading east to tackle the Listed Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday. Would have been a nice chance in this race if he was to contest it.
An ultra-consistent horse who’s finished in the top five in nine of his last ten starts but hasn’t won since the 2017 Listed Tokyo City Cup. Has enjoyed more success over longer trips but does have Jason Holder aboard whose won this race three times, his first on Staaraq in 1996 and his last on Happy Trails in 2012. Win would definitely shock.
Len Jarvis’ seven-year-old mare has enjoyed a bit of a career resurgence with two wins and three seconds in her last five starts. Has been running well both here and in Melbourne. Looks a step up here but you can’t fault her recent form.
She won her first start for Travis Doudle after coming across from the Hawkes yard in June. It was a nice win in BM90 company last start but this is a huge test for her. Has scope.
A frustrating mare to follow who probably should have more wins to her name than she does. Seems to have plenty of talent and has been racing in decent touch. Paul Gatt gets on board for the first time in his career. Could be capable but hard to trust.
The youngster and lightweight of the field was mighty close to a Group 2 victory in just his third career start in the VRC Sires Produce Stakes at Flemington in March. Only carrying the 51.5kgs he is a real knockout chance in this one with last season’s Premiership winning jockey Raquel Clark on board.
- Scales of Justice
- Waging War