Trainer John O’Shea is not ruling out an upset win by Malaise in the Group 1 $1m Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Malaise has been well supported in Randwick Guineas betting leading into the weekend and has firmed in from $15 to $11 in a very congested market order at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Chris Waller trained Comin’ Through sits at the top of the market order at $4.50 with another five runners under the $10 mark, Man From Uncle and Inference at $6, Invincible Gem at $7.50, Prized Icon at $8 and Echo Effect at $9.
Malaise has been in the runner’s up stall at all three runs this campaign and O’Shea was very happy with his last start second to Hey Doc in the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 18.
“A very good run at his last start at Flemington,’ O’Shea said.
“I’m sure the mile at Randwick will suit him and he will take a position. He is 15, 20 to 1, but he a horse that can be in the finish of the race.”
Hong Kong based jockey Zac Purton rides Malaise who will jump from barrier six in the field that has been reduced to thirteen runners following the early scratching of the Grahame Begg trained Land Of Plenty.
The prospect of a wet track at Randwick on Saturday also encouraged O’Shea to bring Malaise back to Sydney after he showed that he could handle a rain affected track with his win on the heavy when he broke his maiden status at Warwick Farm in August.
“We have brought him up here at the prospect of a wet track and obviously at this stage it appears that is going to be the case,” O’Shea said.
On Friday afternoon Randwick was rated a heavy 9 after receiving more that 106mm of rain over the last seven days and another day of showers today dumping 41.8mm will make an upgrade very unlikely with a further track inspection on Saturday morning.
The favourite Comin’ Through will be fitter for his two runs back in the Autumn after a first up fifth to Man From Uncle in the Group 3 $150,000 Australian Chinese Jockey Club Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 4 followed by a third to the same three year old in the Group 2 $400,000 Schweppes Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 18.