$3,000 for Three Group 1s Down Under
Last spring, SESSIONS won a group two stakes race at course and distance in fast time then missed by a length on the straightaway at Flemington. He faced group one company next time out at Moonee Valley and was a neck short in a wide trip before falling apart in his last start of season. He has had two barrier trials and then could not quicken enough in the lane on the outside behind the top two going five furlongs two weeks ago. Now, he comes back with a race over the track, takes off seven pounds and his wide post should not hurt with his running style. Peter Snowden’s record in sprint races the past year has been out of this world and this one will be flying on the outside.
Lucky 7’s strategy: $7 to win and place on Sessions. $7 exacta Snitzerland over Sessions.
Pari-Mutuel wagering strategy: Sessions to win and place and a trifecta box with Sessions, Snitzerland, Tiger Tees and Bel Sprinter
The George Ryder Stakes (G1) is a weight-for-age stakes that looks to be dominated by BOBAN. He won the Chipping Norton Stakes (G1) as much the best when he saved ground, swung out at the top of the stretch, and won easily even though he took the lead sooner than he wanted. His prior two starts were against the top racemare APPEARANCE, who has won four group one stakes races down under, and his late kick should be too much for this group.
GORDON LORD BYRON is an international shipper that makes his debut down under. He won the Prix de Foret (G1) in 2012 going seven furlongs over a bog then came back last year with a good second behind multi-millionaire MOONLIGHT CLOUD on firmer ground. His last race was in Hong Kong in December against a stellar international field and as he has gotten older, he has been able to stretch out to the middle distances. He draws well and gets Craig Williams.
Lucky 7’s strategy: $7 exacta part wheel Boban over Gordon Lord Byron, Eurozone and Red Tracer
Pari-Mutuel wagering strategy: Not much value with the favorite looking super tough. If you can get 2 to 1 on Boban, a big win bet and straight exactas over Gordon Lord Byron, Eurozone, and Red Tracer.
Despite the name of the race, the Rosehill Guineas (G1) is run at 1 ¼ miles and not one mile like most other races of that name. The wide draw will hurt an improving horse like SHOW THE WORLD but the inside draw of SHAMUS AWARD cannot help unless he breaks running and then is able to settle. Last out, he was not able to do it going left-handed and as good as he was last year winning the Cox Plate (G1), he looks like he might be going the wrong way. He can’t be eliminated completely but he’s hard to put on top.
PUCCINI ships in from New Zealand and how many times have we seen the Kiwi invaders take down the money in Oz? He took a while to get his act together, finally breaking his maiden in his eighth career start. After missing by a length in a group one stake going a mile, he exploded with three straight wins against group company when stretched out to 1 1/4, 1 5/16 and 1 ¼ miles. His last win came in the New Zealand Derby (G1) despite drawing post 15 and I like the fact that he came from way back last out but made all two starts back.
ATLANTE intrigues me with only 7 career starts but could be getting good at the right time. After winning a listed race going a mile in New Zealand, he came back as the even-money favorite to win the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (G1) last November. He shipped here two starts back and was a good second in a group two stakes race going seven furlongs then tired last out going a mile. This is his first try at 1 ¼ miles but he looks like he’s sitting on a big race.
Lucky 7’s strategy: $7 win Puccini. $7 exacta Shamus Award and Atlante over Puccini
Pari-Mutuel wagering strategy: As long as he is not the favorite, a win bet on Puccini and a trifecta box with Puccini, Shamus Award, Atlante and Show The World.