Another small field to contest this year’s renewal of the Stan Fox Stakes and as we’ve seen in similar circumstances over recent years, it’s led to the demise of some short-priced favourites. Last year Shooting To Win defeated his seven rivals who included odds-on pop Scissor Kick whilst the previous edition saw Eurozone and Criterion beat home favourite Aussies Love Sport in a six horse field. This year’s favourite is Press Statement with punters keen to replenish their accounts after he was luckless in the G1 Golden Rose. Each of the abovementioned winners of the Stan Fox also came out of the Golden Rose – finishing 3rd and 6th respectively.
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1. PRESS STATEMENT – H Bowman (2)
Produced a good effort first up in the Run To The Roses (1200m) when second (1.3 lengths) to Exosphere so much so, that many thought he could turn the tables on that horse when they next met in the G1 Golden Rose Stakes – where the pair dominated the betting. What should’ve been a lovely spot in the run was soured by Let’s Make It Rain who raced three wide; keeping Press Statement between runners and in need of run at the top of the straight. That run never eventuated whilst Exosphere got the split required, and ran away with the G1 feature with Press Statement finished fifth (3.2 lengths). Not much went right for him last start and can expect him to bounce back sharply here.
2. RAGEESE – T Berry (5)
Warmed up nicely over the final stages when resuming in the Run To the Roses (1200m), finishing fourth (2.2 lengths) before being taken to Wyong by the Hawkes Racing team to record, as expected, a soft victory in the Maiden race. Returned to Group racing at his next and most recent start where the son of Street Cry was again doing his best work inside the final furlong, running fourth (2.9 lengths) behind Exosphere. The extra 100m helps but to see him successful here, think the speed will need to be on and with only a small field to contest, that may not be the case. Should be closing well late and can fill a place .
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3. SHARDS – S Clipperton (1)
Got a lovely run from the inside gate to score in the G3 Up and Coming Stakes when first up from a spell before lining up in the G1 Golden Rose at only start since. He settled further back from a wider gate compared to his first up win and eased off heels at the 300m at which time soon after, the jock decided the race was over and from the 150m, let him cruise to the line. Does have a second to Press Statement on his CV last season and would be inclined to overlook last run and expect an improved effort here
4. WINNING ACCORD – M McGuren (3)
Made it two from two this campaign and for new trainer Bruce Hill when claiming a Class 1 on the Gold Coast by head earlier this month. As the $1.70 favourite in that race, punters were entitled to see the son of Authorized win in a more comfortable manner. Definitely needed to see him doing more in recent efforts before considering him a live hope here.
5. MAN OF HIS WORD – K Wharton (4)
He scored his second win from only five starts when posting an impressive 2.5 length win on the Gold Coast last week. The Lope De Vega colt started $2.50 favourite for the Class 1 and had punters cheering as he made a sweeping run from the back half of the field. Trainer Bruce Hill had another smart three year old last season in Teronado (3rd in G1 Rosehill Guineas) so has a good benchmark by which to judge this guy’s chances.
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6. FIREWORKS – B Avdulla (6)
The Gerald Ryan filly hasn’t been flash in either of her two runs since resuming from a spell. She has finished fifth (6.4 lengths and 6.3 lengths) in both the Silver Shadow and Furious Stakes respectively, making little impact in the run home. Winner of the G3 Widden Stakes and ran a close third (1 length) behind English and Ottoman in the G2 Reisling Stakes last season but seems to be struggling to reach that kind of level as a 3yo.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Each will get their chance here with a small field but no better riding under such conditions than Hugh Bowman. He’ll have Press Statement in the right spot from the jump and most importantly, out of trouble. Would expect a much sharper effort here from Shards in a forward position whilst Rageese is looking for this trip but with the small field, it could be leisurely ran.
1. PRESS STATEMENT