The gelded son of Snitzel is back in 2018 looking to secure successive VRC Sprint Classic titles. The fourteen-time winner will follow the same path he took in 2017, coming into this race after securing victory in The Everest. His Everest campaign this year was disjointed after a race-day scratching followed by a run that had some questioning if he was back at his best when put away after leading them up in the G2 Premiere Stakes. Taking control from barrier 1 in The Everest, he soon put any queries to sleep when able to lead all the way and land the biggest pay-cheque in turf racing, pocketing over $6.5m for the win. Redzel has a great record at Flemington boosting his credentials, having raced the Flemington straight on three occasions, winning twice and finishing 2nd on the other occasion. After winning this race last year Redzel returned in the Autumn when finishing the narrowest of 2nds to Redkirk Warrior in the G1 Lighting Stakes. Following his Everest win the Snowden’s have sent the gelding to the trials to keep sharp and man-of-the-moment Kerrin McEvoy will be up looking for his 9th win aboard the super-sprinter.
The stylish Pierro entire has a great record at 1200m which shows the numbers of 6: 4-1-0, with the only ‘miss’ coming at his career debut when taking on a 2YO maiden at Warwick Farm. Since that debut, Pierata has 1200m wins in the G2 Missile Stakes over Kementari and in the G3 Sydney Stakes, which has taken on the mantle of being The Everest consolation. His 4YO campaign started with the Missile Stakes victory before beaten a lip in the G3 Bill Ritchie at 1400m by Siege Of Quebec. He was then out to the mile for the Epsom when finishing three lengths from the winner Hartnell. Dropped back to the six furlongs for the Sydney Stakes, Tommy Berry was up and had the entire settled just behind the speed before angling into clear air and putting them to the sword to score a dominant three length victory. Given a trail to keep sharp since that rum, he wasn’t asked for much when in the same trial as Redzel. Berry keeps the ride with the 4YO to have his first look at the Flemington track.
The War Front entire will be having his third start in Australia after originally coming to target The Everest. Ryan Moore flew in to take the ride and starting from barrier 3 he never really got in the action and was never threatening in finishing over 10 lengths from the winner Redzel. Heading to Moonee Valley for the Manikato, there was a huge push for the entire with some huge bets coming in. From barrier 2 he was shuffled out early and ending up close to last at the 400m he never made an impact in finishing six and a quarter lengths from the winner Brave Smash. Aidan O'Brien produced a training masterstroke to prepare U S Navy Flag to win his last start in England before heading to Australia when claiming the G1 July Cup at Newmarket. The Newmarket 1200m is one of the toughest distances to take on in world racing with the undulating nature and uphill portions of the course making it a taxing trip. That didn’t bother the gun 4YO who was able to lead throughout and break the field with a 1.75 length victory. The wider expanses of Flemington combined with the straight trip will work in the favour of the entire with Ryan Moore up again.
The Hayes/Dabernig trained 8YO returns to the track after a somewhat disappointing return to his homeland, targeting two races on his raid. Ridden by Frankie Dettori in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, he was well beaten behind the Australian Merchant Navy. One more start was to follow, this time Regan Bayliss getting the call-up for the ride in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket, where he was again well beaten, finishing six lengths from the winner and fellow VRC Sprint competitor U S Navy Flag. After being well beaten in this race last year, Redkirk Warrior was sent for a break before returning in the Autumn where he started twice, winning both starts at the elite level. First-up in the Lightning over the 1000m, he finished hard to nose out Redzel on the line. Second-up in Newmarket under 57.5kg, he was taken to the front over the Straight-six and was too strong, fighting on to claim a narrow victory over Brave Smash. The blinkers are off and the winkers go on, while the gelding is a four-time winner first-up. What is really encouraging is his Flemington record where he is a winner in 4 of his 5 appearances.
Officially registered as the Victoria Racing Club Stakes, it was first conducted in 1960. Since its inception the race has been held at six furlongs or the equivalent 1200m down the Flemington ‘straight six’.
The race is held at the conditions of weight-for-age with 4YO and older entires and geldings carrying 58.5kg and 4YO and older mares carrying 56.5kg. Originally held on the first day of the VRC Spring Carnival at Flemington, the race was shifted to the last day of the Carnival and has featured in various name changes.
Total prizemoney on offer in 2017 is $1 million with the winner to receive $600,000. The 2017 winner was the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy. Other winners of the race include Delectation, Buffering, Miss Andretti, Takeover Target, Hareeba and the mighty Black Caviar who won this race twice.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Spring Racing Carnival races at UBET's Spring Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 10th November 2018|
|Race Time:||16:10 AEDT|
|Market:||2018 VRC Sprint Classic Odds|