The field for the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday has been reduced to twelve runners following the early scratchings of He’s Our Rokkii and Embley.
The Bjorn Baker trained Embley will now take his place in the Group 2 $500,000 Ilive Appliances Hill Stakes (1800m) on the same card while the Lindsay Park trained He’s Our Rokkii will stay in Melbourne and run in the Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Sunday.
Embley will be stepping up sharply in the class in the Hill Stakes but is coming off winning form with two victories at Randwick in a 1600m BenchMark 83 Handicap and in a 1600m BenchMark 90 Handicap.
Embley is marked as an $11 chance for the Hill Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au while He’s Our Rokkii is one of the outsiders of the field in the Underwood Stakes at $26.
Trainer Gerald Ryan has also scratched Red Excitement from the Hill Stakes and will give the eight year old another chance at Group 1 level in the Epsom Handicap.
The Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper has been solid at the top of the Epsom Handicap market order and is currently the firming $2.90 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Chris Waller trained trio of Egg Tart at $6 and Comin’ Through and Tom Melbourne at $7.50.
Dual Oaks winner Egg Tart is still under an injury cloud and will have another vet’s inspection on Friday afternoon to see if she has recovered from an eye problem and if she is fit to take her place in the Epsom Handicap field.