There’s plenty of action to get involved in with Group race action at both Randwick and Moonee Valley providing the highlights. The Group 1 1000m Concorde Stakes at the first named venue is the big race of the weekend.
Zapateo to spring Concorde surprise
The previously mentioned Concorde Stakes is due off as the fifth race on the Randwick card with top weight Eduardo expected to jump as favourite following three solid runs last spell.
Two of those efforts came in Group 1 company including when placing second in the 1200m T J Smith Stakes over 1200m at this venue at the start of April.
The shorter distance here is no issue having taken out a four runner renewal of the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at this venue on his penultimate start while the likely favourite has his regular pilot Nash Rawiller in the saddle once more.
At nine however the gelding is a veteran campaigner and he may well have to give best to one of his younger rivals.
Preference in this regard is for the four-year-old filly Zapateo who has been performing well at a lower level so far in 2022.
Ended her last spell with a solid length win in the Denise’s Joy Stakes over 1100m at Scone and while more will be needed to take this contest the pick delivered an impressive victory by just under three lengths when recording a first Group race success in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality over the same distance here on seasonal debut last month.
With both Malkovich and Eduardo likely to want to go forward from the gate the daughter of Brazen Beau should get a strong pace to run at and Tim Clark’s mount is taken to record a victory on her first start in Group 1 company.
One of the main supporting races on the Randwick card, the Group 2 Furious Stakes over 1200m plays host to our second bet of the day.
The competitive contest, restricted to three-year-old fillies has attracted a field of 11 with the Peter and Paul Snowdon team looking to deliver a third victory in the last five renewals of this contest.
They saddle three of the runners including Sheeza Belter who completed a hat-trick when scoring under big race jockey William Pike in the 1600m Group 1 J.J. Atkins Stakes on a good 4 track at Eagle Farm back in June.
The daughter of Gold Standard appeared to appreciate the step up in distance that day and while she tackles easier opposition in this contest she is expected to find stablemate Paris Dior has too much for her having won half of her four starts in her first spell.
Brenton Avdulla’s mount delivered a narrow margin victory on her first start at 1200m when taking out the Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes over this course and distance back in April. Had previously scored in the valuable 1100m Inglis Millennium at this venue and having shown she handles wet going and likes this track the Pierro filly is taken to deliver a second Group 2 success.
The valuable 1600m Group 2 Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley has attracted a small but select field of six.
The Maddie Raymond-trianed Earlswood is sure to have his supporters with the former European galloper, twice a winner in Group 3 company in Ireland in 2021 having made the perfect start to his career with Raymond when winning the Group 3 Carlyon Cup over 1600m at Caulfield back in February.
That effort came on a good 3 track but he handled soft and heavy ground in Ireland but it’s a concern that he was only seen out once last spell.
The Ben and JD Hayes team saddle Mr Brightside here and he is preferred having ended his last spell with a half-length victory off a low weight in a 20 runner renewal of the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap over 1600m at Caulfield at the start of April.
Has demonstrated good form on the forecast soft going and is taken to deliver a third consecutive victory having scored by a narrow margin in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence over 1400m at Caulfield when racing first up this spell.