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The Ranvet Stakes marks the first Group 1 staying event of the Sydney carnival. Join our coverage here on The Roar in the lead up to the 3.30pm AEDT jump time.
Run over 2000m under weight-for-age conditions, this year’s field has been bolstered by the return of last year’s winner, Manighar and boom colt Fiveandahalfstar, who is the only three-year-old courageous enough to take on the older horses.
The traditional lead up race to the Ranvet is the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes, run over 1600m a fortnight ago, but only a few horses join us today via the Chipping Norton which has left form lines ambiguous.
Having taken out this race last year, on his way to winning the BMW Tancred, Manighar ran a disappointing 11th on a wet ground in the Chipping Norton.
It was his first run since injuring a tendon that ruined last year’s spring campaign.
Normally a good first up runner who had previously placed in all his first up starts, Manighar’s return from injury was well below expectation.
Last year, he was Australia’s best weight-for-age horse after claiming the Australian Cup, Ranvet and BMW Tancred as well as running second in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Maykbe Diva Stakes.
At his best, he wins today by several lengths but his first up run suggests he hasn’t fully recovered from the injury which ruined his spring campaign.
New Zealand raiders will be looking to claim Australian Group 1’s in back-to-back weeks with Roger James trained Silent Achiever to finishing 4th in the Chipping Norton.
She wound up strongly over the final 200m to finish just 1.1 lengths behind the eventual winner and will appreciate the step up in distance here.
Last time Silent Achiever was here at Rosehill, she ran second in the Rosehill Guineas last year. Despite failing to feature in the placings in the Chipping Norton, her run was encouraging enough to suggest she’ll be very competitive here.
The other Kiwi raider is 2011 VRC Derby winner, Sangster. The Savabeel gelding has been on a bumper run of form winning his last three starts at distances of 2000m, 2400m and the Group 1 Auckland Cup 3200m.
Today will be a drop back in distance and a step up in class for Sangster who is nearing the end of his preparation. How he runs today will be used as a benchmark of how to prepare him in the spring more than anything.
The likely favourite will be the underdog of the field, Fiveandahalfstar. The Anthony Cummings trained gelding has been one of the highlights of the autumn so far but is still yet to record a win.
He has finished second in all three of his starts but the most impressive of the three was when he tackled the older horses in the Australian Cup to finish second behind Super Cool, another three year old.
With Super Cool out of the equation here in a race over the same distance as the Australian Cup, Fiveandahalfstar has an excellent chance to claim his first victory since winning the VRC Derby in the spring.
The smokey of the field is David Vandyke’s French import, Prince Cheri. The four year old import has had just three runs which resulted in victory over 2400m on debut in France, a second placing in France over 2400m. His first run on Australian soil was an impressive victory over 1550m earlier in the month.
So far, Prince Cheri has not raced against a quality field like the one assembled today but he appears to have travelled very well.
He’ll be targeted towards the spring majors but with no form lines to compare him against, he’s capable of anything and is worthy of the smokey title.
Chris Waller saddles up three of his import who he bought over as Melbourne Cup hopefuls. Of the trio, Foreteller will be the most interesting to watch.
Two starts ago, the six-year-old gelding defeated Budriquez in the Peter Young Stakes over 1800m under weight-for-age conditions.
Budriquez went on to dead heat with Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune in the Blamey Stakes, two weeks later.
Kelinni and Gatewood are both seeking beyond 2000m and Waller will use today to assess whether they are pressed onto the BMW Tancred or the Sydney Cup.
Preview provided by Alfred Chan.
Alfred Chan’s tips:
1. Silent Achiever
3. Prince Cheri
Roar Editor Justin Cinque
2. Silent Achiever
Roar Expert Cameron Rose
2. Silent Achiever
Roar Expert Andrew Hawkins
2. Silent Achiever