Waller pressing for the one Randwick mile feature he hasn’t got. He has dominated the Randwick Mile feature races in the past decade – five of the past six Doncaster Handicaps, the past three Epsom Handicaps, three of the past four George Main Stakes and the past four Chelmsford Stakes however, one has eluded trainer Chris Waller, the Randwick Guineas – up until now. Press Statement looks set to complete the Randwick Mile trophy cabinet for Waller this weekend with the dominant galloper of his generation, $1.50 to secure another Group 1 – his third. The only filly in the field of thirteen – Stay With Me, is the only other runner under double figure odds at $7.00 with Anthony Cummings’ very promising Montaigne at $11.00. Its pretty much write your own ticket outside of the top three chances with Le Romain ($13) the only other galloper under $20.00
1. PRESS STATEMENT – H Bowman (12)
Returned with a most impressive win in the G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m), settling in the box-seat before racing away to win by 2.3 lengths. Will only be fitter again and none of his competitors in this field have defeated him in the past – probably wishful thinking that’ll they will here either. Appears to be simply, too good for his own age group.
2. ETYMOLOGY – T Berry (9)
Only win from his seven starts to date has been a Maiden on the Synthetic track at Racing.com Park however, has shown plenty of potential – especially over the longer trips – and finished second to Tarzino in last year’s VRC Derby. Was having his first run since that effort in last fortnight’s G2 Hobartville Stakes where he finished as expected, ninth and 5.4 lengths from the winner Press Statement. Fitter and the extra furlong both help him to run better again this time, but still might find the mile a fraction below his best.
3. DEL CIEILO – K McEvoy (7)
Resumed from a 14 week spell in the G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago where, from the inside gate, he settled behind the leader’s back. Had to work his way off the fence top end of the straight but even when in the clear late, was only holding his position in the run to the line, finishing sixth (4.5 lengths) behind Press Statement. Still winless in five starts since coming to Australia from NZ and hard to see him breaking his local maiden status in a race of this quality.
4. SHARDS – J McDonald (2)
Not a bad effort first up in the Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) where he settled at the tail of the field, three wide with cover, before coming down the centre of the track and finishing strongly for fourth placing (3.6 lengths) to Spill The Beans. Wasn’t able to make similar ground at his next and only start since, finishing eleventh (6.7 lengths) in the Hobartville Stakes (1400m) again after settling well back. Hard to see him winning here off of the above two efforts.
5. LE ROMAIN – C Reith (8)
Excellent effort in the Eskimo Prince, settling midfield and deep with no cover, before chasing Spill The Bean home gamely and finishing second (1.8 lengths). It was a similar case in the Hobartville Stakes, where he followed Press Statement throughout in the run, before finishing second to him, 2.3 lengths in arrears. Going very well at the moment for trainer Kris Lees and had a length and a half on the rest of them in the Hobartville. Obvious choice to include in the short list of contenders.
6. MAN OF CHOICE – J Penza (1)
Both of his wins to date have come at Kembla Grange, and had little luck searching for his first city win when resuming from a spell a fortnight ago at Rosehill in a BM 85 (1350m). He settled midfield, wide with no cover from a wide draw, and battled on as well as could be expected under the circumstances in the run to the line, finishing seventh (four lengths) behind Religify. Likely to find this above his means.
7. MONTAIGNE – J Collett (3)
Hard to miss the impression this horse has made in his short but successful career to date. He comprehensively won a BM 78 (1600m) this track two starts back, producing a big finish after setting well back in the field, before producing a great third in the Hobartville Stakes. He settled well back again and on the fence from an inside draw, from there he had to pick runs through the field, only getting clear and balanced well inside the last 100m but you could see when he did, that he really started to stretch out late and hit the line in great style. Finished 3.6 lengths behind Press Statement but won’t be that far away this time. The only danger to the favourite.
8. TULSA – S Arnold (6)
Melbourne visitor who has had two runs back from a spell. The first saw him race deep and on the pace before struggling to finish eighth behind Puritan in the G3 Manfred Stakes (1200m), before coming from well back in the C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) and finishing just on a half a length away from Tivaci. Still only the one win from seven starts – a maiden on a Synthetic track, and for him to be winning here, needed to be seeing him win more than that.
9. GOLD AMBITION – T Angland (10)
Only the two placings to his name since his solitary win at Warwick Farm back in April of last year. One of those placings came at his most recent start, his second from a spell, where he finished a neck away from El Doute, who started at 50/1, in a mid-week meetings at Rosehill. Not the form required to be winning a Group 1.
10. BALMAIN BOY – T Clark (4)
Settled handy to the speed when contesting the Hobartville Stakes last start, but was unable to improve on his good position and run in transit, finishing seventh (4.9 lengths) behind Press Statement. Had won two of his three starts prior, but both were in much weaker company than this.
11. MACKINTOSH – R Hutchings (11)
New Zealander who comes into this race, off a unique preparation. He has only had the three starts – his won two of them including his most recent start, which was back on the 9th January 2015. Not a great deal of depth in this year’s edition so suppose it’s worth a shot at the stumps but from barrier eleven, can’t see him hitting any of them.
12. DATA POINT – C Williams (13)
Finished second at a mid-week Sandown meeting just over a fortnight ago, running second to Daniela Rose in the BM 64 (1400m). Started the $2.50 favourite for that event and needed to be winning that – and in very good style, to have any hope of mixing it with the top three chances in this race.
13. STAY WITH ME – G Schofield (5)
Expected to return from her spell a winner when contesting the G2 Light Fingers (1200M) and was sent out the favourite, but gave her backers little hope settling last and despite finishing well, never looking a real hope of picking up the leading group. Second up, was doing her best work late again when third (1 lengths) to the promising Ghisoni in last week’s Surround Stakes. Good effort last week in a leader dominated race and the step up to the mile, the distance over which she won the Group 1 Caulfiled 1000 Guineas, will be right up her alley.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Only two you need to consider her for mine – Press Statement and Montaigne, and at their current price, happy to speck Montaigne to give us a good run for the money. Really liked the way he stretched out late in the Hobartville and would think he is custom made for the Randwick mile. Press Statement is bullet proof. He’s made better fields of his own age group look second rate. Le Romain and the filly Stay With Me – the two to fill out the placings in a Randwick Guineas of very limited chances for mine.