Four Group 1’s across two days, two states and three days will whet punters’ appetite ahead of The Championships at Randwick next weekend.
The William Reid Stakes will take centre stage at The Valley on Friday night, while the time-honoured Australian Cup will be the feature at Flemington on Saturday.
It is Tancred Stakes Day in Sydney as the harbour city hosts two more Group 1’s.
The three-year-old fillies will begin their staying series as well with the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes.
Check out our best bets for the weekend at both tracks below!
Race 6 No. 10 Benedetta.
We highlighted Benedetta as a blackbooker three weeks ago following her three-length demolition of Paris Dior at Flemington. The Jason Warren-trained three-year-old made it four wins on the bounce that day and will once again run down the straight. Her figures on the PuntingForm All Benchmark (-12.4) was sensational and the second best of the day. She ran the 7th fastest last 600m, 5th fastest last 400m and 4th fastest last 200m of the meeting.
Although the inside draw is a slight query, Benedetta looks a Group horse in the making and has the strength to power over the top of What You Need late.
Race 7 No. 7 Numerian.
The market seems to have completely missed the Anabel Neasham-trained Numerian following a terrific first-up run in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes. The six-year-old chased a very hot speed that day and was strong through the line, running fourth behind Steinem and Gold Trip. He was brilliant second-up last campaign when once again thriving off a fast pace to narrowly go down behind Cascadian at Randwick. A replication of that performance would see the European import extremely hard to beat.
Despite starting $12 in the Caulfield Cup, where he was only beaten one-length by Durston, there is a strong case to be made that 2000m is Numerian’s best trip. He has returned to the trials following that first-up run and maps for a perfect stalking position from barrier one.
Race 2 No. 3 The Years.
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have enjoyed a terrific season with their juveniles and will present two-year-old colt The Years at Rosehill on Saturday. The son of Time Test was good on debut at Canterbury before bolting in at Kembla Grange three weeks later. He showed tactical speed that day and powered through the soft conditions. He subsequently started $4.30 in the Group 3 Black Opal in Canberra when running second to his stablemate Autumn Ballet.
The Years was forced to do a large amount of work on a fast pace at Canberra, which gives him a great base for Saturday. He should be able to cross and lead quite easily and prove extremely hard to beat.
Race 7 No. 3 Pavitra.
The market has come for Prowess in early betting, but we are very keen on the chances of Chad Schofield and Pavitra in the three-year-old feature. We highlighted Pavitra two weeks ago when the American Pharaoh filly destroyed her opposition in the Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic over a mile. She rolled forward to sit outside the lead before showing her turn-of-foot to destroy her opposition by four-lengths… eased down. Pavitra is already Group 1 placed from the VRC Oaks last spring and showed strong staying capabilities that day.
The Richard and Will Freedman-trained filly maps to roll forward from barrier eight and looks the best bet of the day over 2000m at Rosehill!