George Main Stakes free of Scratchings

By: Mark Mazzaglia
September 20th, 2014

The weight for age $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) is free of scratchings with a field of ten to take their place in the first Randwick Group 1 of the Spring Carnival.

Panzer Division remains the favourite for the George Main Stakes at Randwick.

Panzer Division remains the favourite for the George Main Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Bookmakers have agreed with trainer Paul Messara’s decision to run Panzer Division against the older horses with the three year old still at the head of the market order at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au.

Panzer Division only has to carry 50kgs under the weight for age scale with rider Brenton Avdulla having to undergo a strict weight loss program to get down to the lightest race riding weight of his career.

“The weight is coming off pretty quickly,” Avdulla said during the week.

“I thought that it was just Paul ringing me up for Randwick trials, but he offered me the ride and I just had to think about it.

“I checked the weight first and the weight was alright, 55 and a half, so I thought that it was more than worth it for a horse of his calibre that is racing in good form, in a year that I think the weight-for-age horses probably aren’t at their best.”

Messara has pitted the lightly raced Panzer Division up against some seasoned weight for age horses after the Redoute’s Choice colt proved too strong against his own age in winning the Group 3 $125,000 Ming Dynasty Quality Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on September 6 at only his third race start.

Three of those tough seasoned older horses, Sacred Falls, Hawkspur and Royal Descent are from the Chris Waller stable and are also well in contention in the betting.

Royal Descent is the shortest price of the Waller trio at $5.50 just ahead of Sacred Falls at $6 with Hawkspur marked at $8.

There wasn’t much between the three Waller gallopers in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 6 with Hawkspur getting the judge’s decision by a nose over Royal Descent with Sacred Falls finishing in fourth spot one and half lengths behind his stablemates.

The Kris Lees trained Lucia Valentina has also remained solid in the betting and is currently marked at $5.50 alongside of Royal Descent.

Lucia Valentina caused somewhat of a surprise with the ease of her win first up in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 6 and Lees has some reservations about the Savabeel mare’s second up form.

“I am just a little mindful that second-up last preparation was probably the worst of her four runs and we are just keeping that at the back of our minds,” Lees told Sky Racing HQ.

“It has been well documented that there is not a lot of her and she has a long way to go.

“This is the big test for her going to weight-for-age against better company again.”

The remainder for the George Main Stakes market order has Toydini at $7.50, Teronado and Rising Romance at $14, Gypsy Diamond at $34 and Laser Hawk at $101.

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