Last Saturday’s Randwick winner Hampton Court will back up this weekend and take on the unbeaten Sweynesse in the Group 1 $400,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
The ever confident Gai Waterhouse is giving Hampton Court a great chance of taking on the short priced favourite Sweynesse after her colt scored a three quarter of a length win over Duccio in the Listed $100,000 TAB Betting Season Dulcify Quality (1600m).
Waterhouse will also saddle up Fastnet Rock colt Valentia in the Spring Champion Stakes after he finished third to Shooting To Win in the Group 2 $200,000 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on September 27.
“I’m delighted with the way Hampton Court has pulled up, he’s extremely well, looks fantastic,’’ Waterhouse told The Daily Telegraph.
“He’s improving with racing, and so is Valentia.’’
“I’ve got two very underrated colts who are fit and in-form but you would think Sweynesse is the one to beat.’’
Waterhouse has trained the winner of the Spring Champion Stakes on three occasions, collecting the trophy with Nothin’ Leica Dane in 1995, Magic Of Sydney in 1996 and Platinum Scissors in 2002.
In-form jockey Blake Shinn will be the new rider for Sweynesse this weekend, taking over from Kerrin McEvoy who has partnered the Godolphin trained colt in his last three wins since resuming from a spell.
Sweynesse started his Spring Carnival campaign in restricted grade and after winning over 1400m in a BenchMark70 Handicap at R’hill on August 30, trainer John O’Shea stepped the Lonhro colt up to Group 3 level when he won the $125,000 Coca-Cola Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on September 17.
Then after winning the Group 3 $200,000 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 27 with ease, bookmakers had no option but to install him as the favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au marking him at $2 for the Spring Champion Stakes.
Trainer John Thompson hasn’t ruled out starting last Saturday’s Group 1 Flight Stakes winner First Seal in the Spring Champion Stakes and bookmakers have also reacted to that by putting her up as a $2.60 chance ahead of the Paul Messara trained Panzer Division at $4.60.
While the Waterhouse pair of Hampton Court and Valentia are both listed as $8 chances.