Three year old filly Thump could be the unlikely leader as she takes on the older horses in the Group 1 $400,000 Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley tonight.
While Thump’s two recent runs this campaign has seen her settle off the pace, the Kris Lees trained filly did set the tempo when an all the way winner in the Group 3 $150,000 TBV/Gallagher Bassett Champagne Stakes (1200m) over this course and distance last September.
Thump has drawn barrier four in the ten horse field and Lees wouldn’t be surprise to see Jim Cassidy let the Red Ransom filly stroll to the front in the early stages.
“The way things have worked out, she’s got a good gate and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of speed in the race – she might be the leader and tough to catch,” Lees told Racing Network today.
Several of the main chances settle back in the field and this could give Cassidy an easy lead and make it hard for the back markers late in the race.
Queensland sprinter Spirit Of Boom, last year’s Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress and the Mick Price trained Group 1 winner Samaready all like to settle back in the field.
Thump was only having her second race start for the Broadmeadow trainer when she won the Group 2 $175,000 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 and Lees had no hesitation in shipping her off the Melbourne to take on the open class sprinters in the William Reid Stakes.
“She was three wide all the way but still she was really strong on the line,” Lees said.
“I thought it was an impressive win.”
The Surround Stakes win was the third victory for Thump who scored twice under the care of John Thompson when the filly was one of Nathan Tinkler’s huge team and as well as winning the Champagne Stakes was also successful in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm in August, giving her three wins at Group level.
The Mick Price trained Samaready will jump from gate one with Craig Newitt and has been posted the $4.20 favourite for the William Reid Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au in a very open betting race.
Thump and 2013 Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress share the second line of betting at $5 just ahead of the David Hayes trained Gregers at $5.50 with Spirit Of Boom also in the mix and is currently a $6.00 chance.