The Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick today is clear of scratchings with a field of eight to go around.
The Randwick track will start the day as a Soft 5 even though no rain has been recorded over the last twenty-four hours and only 7.8 mm for the last seven days.
The rail for today has been pushed out to 9m from the 1600m to the winning post and 5m for the remainder of the course.
The Chris Waller trained Press Statement heads the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.50 in a tight betting race that has Victorian sprinter Malaguerra at $4 and Gai Waterhouse’s filly English at $4.60.
Also under the $10 mark are Press Statement’s stablemate Kermadec at $6 and former West Australian galloper Black Heart Bart at $6.50.
Press Statement has had a month in between runs after running third behind Winx and Kermadec in the Group 1 $1m China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 19 but Waller said that the three year old has freshened up nicely for the 1400m and will be at his peak for the weight for age contest.
“He has freshened up nicely, four weeks in between runs,” Waller said.
“He is going terrific, looks well.”
And the soft track won’t be a problem for Press Statement who has won three from four attempts on a rain affected surface.
“Soft track form, I think three wins. Probably not his best track, but he can get through it,” Waller said.
Waller is confident Kermadec has recovered from a minor back problem which was discovered after he ran last of fifteen behind his super star stablemate Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ a fortnight ago.
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trainer Malaguerra also has wet track form with two wins and a second from three runs on the soft.
Malaguerra has worked his way up through the classes and is chasing his fifth win on the trot after scoring an impressive win in the Group 3 $150,000 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 26.
All Aged Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Press Statement, $4.00 Malaguerra, $4.60 English, $6 Kermadec, $6.50 Black Heart Bart, $17 Goldstream, $31 Rebel Dane, Perignon.