The Shark the opening favourite for Chipping Norton Stakes

The Jamie Richards trained Te Akau Shark (NZ) is the opening TAB market favourite at $2.70 for the feature $600,000, Group 1 WFA TAB Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday after a field of 14 accepted for the race on Wednesday.

Te Akau Shark, attempting to go one better than his narrow second to Kolding (NZ) in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap over 1600m last October, it the market elect even with barrier 13 for Opie Bosson.

Richards tuned the five-year-old Rip Van Winkel gelding up with an easy gallop to claim the Group 1 Breeders’ Sprint over 1400m at Te Rapa by 2 3/4L on February 8th.

Te Akau Shark will meet and old adversary Dreamforce with the John Thompson trained Fastnet Rock seven-year-old accepted after his second to Alizee in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes over 1400m at the course on February 15th.

Blake Shinn comes from Hong Kong for the Randwick meeting and the ride on Dreamforce, they have barrier four.

Also accepted from the Apollo Stakes is third placegetter Happy Clapper, barrier 10 for Tommy Berry, and fourth placed Verry Elleegant (NZ) who came home well from being seventh at the 400m to close to just under 2L from the winner. The latter has barrier nine for James McDonald.

Matthew Smith has put forward Fierce Impact (JPN) after the duel Group 1 winner last spring resumed with a second to the three-year-old Alabama Express in the Group 1 CR Orr Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield on January 23rd. Brenton Avdulla rides with barrier six.

Godolphin’s Avilius (GB) was fifth in that race and he returns to Sydney and the track where he won the Group 1 George Main Stakes over 1600m last September. Hugh Bowman rides with barrier eight.

TAB’s market has Avilius on the second line at $6.00, Dreamforce and Fierce Impact $6.50, Happy Clapper and Danceteria $12.00 and the rest at $18.00 and over.

The Chipping Norton Stakes is Race 7 at 4.30pm on the nine race programme.

The meeting commences at 12.55pm with a capacity field of 18 for the $75,000, TAB Highway Handicap (1000m).

The track is rated a Good 4 on Wednesday after 12.2mm of rain over the last seven days. The rail will be in the True position for the entire circuit.

Sydney’s weather is forecast to have partly cloudy days with 25c on Thursday and Friday with no rain. Saturday’s forecast is for a partly cloudy day with 19cc to 25c.

Randwick fields

Course Proper rated a Good 4, picture ThoroughbredNEWS