Racing Saturday October 7 Preview: Last Start Winners To Feature Strongly In Spring Champions Stakes

Feature Race

Spring Champion Stakes, (Group 1), Race 7, 2000m


Randwick, Sydney


Generally a race with pressure highlighted by the fact the last five winners position in run at the 800m mark (8th, 7, 8 ,4, 7).

Four of the last five winners came into the race as last start winners.

The last four winners have come into the race with a pre-race rating of 78 or higher.

Race Pace

Genuine pace likely with Ace High to lead or sit 3rd fence if something wants to cross.

Sanctioned and Coral Coast also sitting handy.

Tangled and Dissolution will be midfield.

The rest of the field will settle quietly at the back.

Leading chances

Ace High (3.40) (pictured above)

Comes into this race off a spike career best rating in the Gloaming stakes where he benefited from the aggressive front running ride.

Highly likely to get a good run in transit where he’ll have the option to lead or let any outside pressure go if Tye Angland wishes.

Started 9.00 in the Gloaming compared to Sanctioned at 3.50 with the turnaround in price reflecting the win and the fact he was holding the second horse on the line.

Sanctioned (4.40)

Tough to know what to make of his last start second in the Gloaming.

He loomed up to win before tiring and running 12.11 for the last 200m compared to Ace High’s 11.96. 

However, he covered the 600m section (800-200m) in 34.9 compared to Ace High’s 35.3.

So, either he spent his energy to early or he didn’t stay.

Tangled (5.50)

Group 2 winner from the Brisbane winter who was poor in 3 subsequent runs. 

Bounced right back to his best last week when he ran into plenty of dead ends before finishing just 0.6L fourth in the Dulcify.

Carried 60.5kg last week and will appreciate the drop back to 56.5kg.

He could jump out of the ground but the price is on the short side to find out.

Astoria (7.50)

Started favourite in the Gloaming beaten 6.8L.

Surely better than that and while I’m generally happy to forgive one bad effort, there were no excuses and the price doesn’t represent enough value to find out if he can bounce back.

Not for me.


Horses with a one-off spike rating often find it difficult to repeat.

Sanctioned looks to be timing his run to perfection and at the prices I’m happy to lean his way. 


Turnbull Stakes, (Group 1), Race 5, 2000m

The great mare Winx (pictured above) comes to Flemington for the first time and to undoubtedly her toughest test this campaign in a meeting with last start winner Humidor.

I suggested in an earlier preview that Humidor would be winning a big group race this Spring, well he did that (without me unfortunately) last start in the Makybe Diva running away from Hartnell.

He was advantaged that day with a hot pace allowing him to settle back and finish over the top. 

Winx eased to her most comfortable win last start beating subsequent Epsom handicap winner Happy Clapper.

There were murmurs when she was off the bit at the 800m but this was likely suggesting she was ready for the 2000m.

Assign represents the only pace in the race. Interestingly in the small field Winx will settle in front of Humidor, Ventura Storm, Skyfire and Sir Isaac Newtown.

So, by default in a field of seven, she will be second or third in the run. 

Try as I might, I just can’t see Humidor running her down.

Assign will likely show some pluck as he always goes well second up.

Watch Ventura Storm getting home and right up into Melbourne Cup calculations. 

The Bart Cummings (Group 3), Race 6, 2500m

The winner gets a golden ticket by way of a ballot exemption into the Melbourne Cup as Almandin (pictured above) did last year before going on to win the Cup.

He’s treading a similar path to the Cup this year and a win here carries the bonus of keeping a potential up and comer out of the field. 

The pace will be on with stablemates Granddukeoftuscany, Broadside and Crocodile Rock to set the tempo.

Almandin is going better than last year and this sets up perfectly again for him to continue his winning ways.

Harlem went to a big new peak last start and looks on target for a crack at the Caulfield Cup.

If he repeats his last start effort he is a chance but I see it as more likely Almandin will hold his rating and prove too good and happy to take the short price.

Happy Punting!

- By Shaun Beirne (Follow me on Twitter: @ShaunBeirne) 

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