Sydney’s best are out in force for today’s Group 1 George Main Stakes. Join us from 3.15pm for a preview, live blog and post race analysis.
Run over 1600m under weight-for-age conditions, the best Sydney has to offer have lined up with seven of the nine entrants already Group 1 winners.
There has been a surprise nomination, with Peter Moody entering three year old Dissident with a short back up after running second in last week’s Group 1 Golden Rose.
Three year olds always make open class races interesting at this time of year, so Moody thinks very highly of his colt.
In last year’s edition of this race, All Too Hard lined up against a very similar field as today but missed the jump before making solid ground.
Bookies haven’t given Dissident much of a chance and that is because he would need to beat Hawkspur, who won the Chelmsford Stakes a fortnight ago in dominant style.
Although the favourite, some would say this trip is still too short for him.
When he lined up a fortnight ago, he was taking on mostly stayers, of which he is one too. Here he comes up against genuine milers who have won at Group 1 level over the distance, while he has not.
Streama has taken an extended break since her narrow loss in the Warwick Stakes and will be much better for it. Even though the pace did not suit her in it, she stuck on very well.
Her excellent first-up record replicated in her last start and here second-up record is almost just as good, with two wins and two placings from five starts.
Shoot Out won this race last year and must be given respect. Based on what we saw from him in the Tramway Stakes however, he is not showing the same turn of foot as he did in his earlier days.
He generally runs better second up and he should improve on that run now he is out to a mile.
The two fastest finishers in the Tramway were Royal Descent and Sacred Falls, who were flying down the outside to finish third and fourth.
Both stack up much better here under weight-for-age conditions. The distance plays more into the hoofs of Sacred Falls, who returns to the site of his Doncaster Handicap triumph.
Sydney has been quite wet all week and if the draining issues continue, a wet track will only further increase Sacred Falls’ chances.
It’s somewhat surprising to see Veyron at such long odds after he won the Warwick Stakes a month ago. When he lined up in the Chelmsford, he missed the start and was never in the race.
Christian Reith returns on board after his regular rider in New Zealand failed to fire a shot. Veyron is an excellent horse over the mile and if he makes the jump, he would have to improve on his unplaced last start.
Sincero was the winner of this race two years ago but since then he has not been able to replicate the form he showed as a four year old.
He looked to be back to his best when he barrier trailed a month ago but was expected to perform better than he did in the Tramway.
That said, he was eased up towards the line so he probably would have finished closer if ridden out.
Fawkner has been the most popular each way option in early markets. He started as favourite in the Tramway but didn’t get out until it was too late.
There will not be too much pace in this race, with Veyron the expected leader, which will suit Fawkner to come home from the back.
He has run over the mile six time for four wins and two seconds. Running second up, he has three wins and one second from four attempts.
There are lots of form lines pointing to Fawkner here and with his last run; we now know he can handle the Sydney direction.
We’re in for a cracking race over a mile and every horse in this field has a genuine chance of winning.
Alfred Chan’s tips
2. Sacred Falls
4. Royal Descent
Justin Cinque’s tips
2. Sacred Falls
4. Royal Descent
Andrew Hawkins’ tips
3. Sacred Falls
4. Shoot Out
Cameron Rose’s tips
3. Royal Descent
Roar writers 2013 Spring Carnival tipping tally (five points if winning horse is tipped for first; three points if tipped for second; two for third and one for fourth):
After week five
Alfred Chan: 21
Justin Cinque: 15
Cameron Rose: 13
Andrew Hawkins: 12