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Previews: National Stakes, SA Fillies Classic, Centaurea Stakes

The strength of tomorrow’s Group 1 Goodwood meeting is underlined by the support card, which features five other black-type races.

The first of those is race 2, the Group 3 National Stakes (1200m) for two-year-olds.

Among the top fancies is Victorian visitor Diala, from the strong Hawkes yard. Diala led all the way at Sandown for a comfortable win last start over the same distance.

Yule My Hero, Extra Time, Hard Rock Girl and Zoushine all ran well behind Forever Free in the 1050m Listed Queen Adelaide Stakes at Morphettville on May 2 – and any of the quartet could win on Saturday without surprising.

The debut of $1.7 million colt Kazuhiko, from the Lloyd Kennewell stable, adds plenty of interest to the race, as does fellow unraced runner Miss Guggenheim. Kennewell won the race in 2013, while Leon Macdonald has prepared three past winners, including in 2012 (Dinkum Diamond) with training partner Andrew Gluyas.

Jockey Jason Holder is riding Extra Time for that combo and won the race for Macdonald back in 1996 with Will Fly.

National Stakes selections: 1. Extra Time; 2. Kazuhiko; 3. Hard Rock Girl; 4. Diala.

 

Race 5 is the Group 3 TAB SA Fillies Classic, over the testing 2500m journey for three-year-old fillies.

La Falaise and Silent Sovereign are the only two runners to come through the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) a fortnight ago. Both ran well behind Toffee Tongue, with La Falaise making nice ground late, and Silent Sovereign battling on okay after a wide run. The latter won the traditional Oaks lead-up, the Group 3 Auraria Stakes over 1800m last month.

The Anthony Freedman-trained Realm of Flowers also ran in the Auraria, but missed out on a run in the Oaks, so instead raced in a midweek event over 2000m at Murray Bridge last week. Realm of Flowers came from last to record a narrow, but strong win against older horses.

Stick Em Up is among the fresh blood on the SA staying fillies’ scene. The John Sergeant-trained daughter of Dundeel made a mid-race move in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick last month, before weakening in the final 200m to finish fifth behind Colette and Toffee Tongue. She followed that up with an easy win in a low-grade race at Newcastle over 2350m on May 2.

Bellx, from the Hayes-Hayes-Dabernig yard, arrives in SA after a strong fourth in the Listed VRC St Leger (2500m) at Flemington on Anzac Day and should get an easier run from barrier three. The stable saddles up three runners in the SA Fillies Classic, and David Hayes won the race as a solo trainer with Precious Lorraine in 2011. Precious Lorraine was ridden by Paul Gatt, who rides Ruptures in this weekend’s race.

Selections: 1. Realm of Flowers; 2. Bellx; 3. Stick Em Up; 4. La Falaise.

 
Race 6 is possibly the strongest edition of the Centaurea Stakes in the event’s relatively short history.

The Listed 2030m feature has drawn together a diverse field of fillies and mares, headed by the enigmatic Girl Tuesday, from the yard of champion trainer Chris Waller.

The impeccably bred five-year-old showed she might be getting back to top form with an unlucky run in a Group 3 race over 1500m at Rosehill on Anzac Day, when she was forced to switch over heels most of the way down the straight.

Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Danny O’Brien seems to have found the key to Naivasha, who sprouted wings when she finally got clear in the last 200m to record a soft win over 1600m at Flemington on Anzac Day. O’Brien has only had the mare for the past three starts and she shapes as the testing material, provided the race has sufficient pace.

Lamu – trained by Archie Alexander, who won the race last year with Clearly – was a somewhat unlucky third in the same race and should get a good run from barrier six for Dean Holland.

The progressive Oasis Girl bolted in last Saturday over a mile at Caulfield on heavy 8 track and ran well at Flemington on a good 4 track – not beaten far – before that. She could be well in front of the other top fancies on the home turn and prove hard to run down.

Patrick Payne-trained Bea Tempted ran home doggedly over 1600m at Bendigo in a strong form race recently and is a past 2050m Morphettville winner, while Fidelia finished well from the back for third behind Shrouded in Mist in the 1600m Group 3 Queen of the South at Morphettville on May 2 in a race that was unsuitable for backmarkers.

Other chances in a deep race include consistent local Wings of Pastrami, Walking Flying and Nerve Not Verve.

Jockey Jason Holder (Cryptic Jewel) has won the race twice before, while Paul Gatt (Global Sanction) has won it once previously.

Visiting trainer Daryl Dodson is aiming for his second Centaurea Stakes with Bertwhistle.

Selections: 1. Naivasha; 2. Oasis Girl; 3. Girl Tuesday; 4. Fidelia.

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