Espiona the All Aged Stakes favourite

The Chris Waller trained Espiona is TAB’s $3.60 out to $3.70 opening favourite for the final Group 1 of the 2023/24 Sydney season, the $1.5m, Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m), at Randwick on Saturday.

The five-year-old Extreme Choice mare was sixth in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on the 6th coming home from being 11th at the 400m to be 3/4L from the winner Chain Of Lightning at the line.

She was third in both the Group 1 Lightning Stakes over 1000m at Flemington on February 17th and the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes over 1300m at Randwick on March 9th.  Nash Rawiller rides with barrier eight.

After opening at $3.60 after acceptances, the mare drifted in the market to $3.70 by early Wednesday afternoon with the three-year-old Southport Tycoon firming from $$6.00 into $5.50 on the same line as Sunshine In Paris.

Jamie Kah rides the Group 1 Australian Guineas winner Southport Tycoon with barrier five and Ryan Maloney is on the Group 1 Surround Stakes winner Sunshine In Paris with barrier two.

The Moody and Coleman trained Chain Of Lightning, the winner of the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes, is accepted to go for three successive victories.  Chain Of Lightning won the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes over 1200m at Rosehill on March 23rd before going forward to claim the premier sprint of the autumn under Damien Lane. 

The five-year-old Fighting Sun mare is a group winner of the distance having won the 2022 Group 2 Tristarc Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield.  Rachel King rides with barrier for and the mare is at $9.00 in the market.

The All Aged Stakes with a field of 14 is Race 8 at 3.40pm.

The race prior at 3.00pm is the $1m, Group 1 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) for the two-year-old’s with a field of eight.

Michael Freedman’s Tassort filly Manaal is the $2.25 favourite after her win in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes over 1400m on the 6th.  After her fifth in the Group 1 Golden Slipper she narrowly defeated Traffic Warden in the Sire’s. Kah rides with barrier four.

John O’Shea’s Linebacker (NZ) opened at $2.90 and firmed into $2.80 by early Wednesday afternoon. The Super Seth colt has won both his starts with the last the Group 3 Baillieu Stakes over 1400m at Rosehill on the 30th. The colt under Tommy Berry defeated Anode and Broadsiding, both of whom are accepted for a rematch.

Broadsiding, a Too Darn Hot colt, will back up after winning the Listed Fernhill Mile over 1600m by 2 1/4L under James McDonald at Randwick last Saturday.

Adam Hyeronimus rides Anode, $6.50, and McDonald is up on Broadsiding, $6.50, with barrier seven.

There are four $250,000, Group 3 contests.  Race 3 at 12.40pm is the Mostyncopper James HB Carr Stakes (1400m) for three-yea0rold fillies with a field of 14, Race 4 at 1.15pm is the Gow-Gates Frank Packer Plate (2000m) for three-year-old’s with a field of 13 plus two emergencies, Race 5 at 1.50pm is the TAB Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) with a field of nine and Race 6 at 2.25pm is the Toyota Forklifts JRA Plate (2000m) with a field of 13 with two emergencies.

The ten race programme, with 154 overall acceptances, commences at 11.25am with a capacity field of 15 plus 7 emergencies for the $120,000, Midway Bm72 Handicap (1400m)

The Course Proper is racing for the third Saturday in succession and is rated a Group 4 on Wednesday. The rail will be out 7m from 1000m to the Winning Post and 5m for the remainder of the circuit.

The weather into Saturday has partly cloudy days with showers forecast up to 7mm for Thursday with 24, 5mm possible on Friday with 23c and 7mm possible on Saturday with 22c.

Randwick fields

The Course Proper is rated a Good 4 on Wednesday with showers forecast, picture ThoroughbredNEWS