Consistent mare Royal Descent has returned to racing in typically great form this time in, and has continued to firm noticeably into 2015 Chelmsford Stakes odds of $3.60 for success in this afternoon’s feature race at Royal Randwick.
A Group 1 winner, having taken out the 2013 edition of the Australian Oaks (2400m), Royal Descent was unlucky not to return to the winner’s circle through a standout 2014 spring campaign; amazingly finishing second in the of the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), Chelmsford Stakes, Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) in succession.
Having mustered a monumental turn of foot to pull clear and win the Warwick Stakes by close to two lengths first-up this time, the Redoute’s Choice mare has continued to cut from opening Chelmsford Stakes odds of $5 to currently register as outright $3.60 favourite.
Hugh Bowman has retained the ride on Royal Descent, who will leave from the central barrier 8 this afternoon.
Godolphin stayer Hartnell is a proven first-up performer and over the distance, but has continued to drift in 2015 Chelmsford Stakes betting markets as focus has been turned to a number of trainer Chris Waller’s eleven-horse contingent.
Hartnell was given little chance for success in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on Australian debut in autumn, but produced an impressive final straight sprint to finish close second to Contributer.
Having progressed to success in each of the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m) before placing fourth in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) last time out, Hartnell will need some luck in running from barrier 9 and has drifted to 2015 Chelmsford Stakes odds of $3.70.
Kermadec ($4.40) and Pornichet ($4.80) interestingly figure as the only other runners currently perched at Chelmsford Stakes odds of less-than $10, and are both more than capable of success in the feature race.
Kermadec capped an impressive autumn preparation with success in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), and will have taken plenty of benefit from a first-up fifth in the Warwick Stakes.
Set for an appearance in the Cox Plate this season, Pornichet ran second in the Warwick Stakes first-up but will also need luck in transit from barrier 10.