In-form gelding Sadler’s Lake has become a genuine lightweight chance in the Group 1 $1m The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 3 after winning at Randwick last Saturday.
Sadler’s Lake will carry the minimum 52kg in the Star Epsom after gaining automatic entry as well as not being able to be re-handicapped for his win in the Group 3 $125,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m).
The conditions of the Star Epsom state that the winner of the Bill Ritchie Handicap will be exempt from the ballot and will not get a penalty for the win.
The Chris Waller trained Sadler’s Lake will join stablemates Kermadec and Winx as well as the John Thompson trained Hooked as horses who are exempt from the ballot for Sydney’s premier Spring Carnival Randwick Mile $1m Handicap.
Kermadec was also ineligible to receive a penalty for his win in last Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes (1600m) which was also an exempt free race.
But Kermadec is likely to miss the Star Epsom and head to Melbourne for the Group 1 $400,000 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 10 on his way to the Group 1 $3m William Hill Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Winx gained exemption front the ballot for the Star Epsom with her first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 12 and has been weighted on 53kg.
While Hooked, on 54kg, skipped to the top of the Star Epsom order of entry with automatic entry after leading all of the way to win the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 5.
Sadler’s Lake is undefeated from two race starts this campaign and after winning first up over 1400m in a BenchMark 85 Handicap at Randwick on September 5, went on to score an impressive win in the Bill Ritchie Handicap over the same distance.
Waller has no worries about the High Chaparral four year old stepping up to the tough Mile at Randwick and expects him to handle distances up to 2000m in the future.
“I think a mile and 2000m will really suit the horse to come to his best form,” Waller said.
“Stepping up to an Epsom in two weeks’ time will be ideal I think, a tough mile.
“The distance will certainly be no problem because he’s been there before so I think it’s perfect timing.
“It’s a big step but perfect timing. I don’t think he’s quite as effective on a wet track so I’m looking forward to two weeks’ time.”
Cox Plate bound Kermadec has been taken out of the Epsom market order at Ladbrokes.com.au, leaving stablemate Winx at the head of the betting at $4.
Waller trained horses dominate the top end of the betting with Royal Descent at $9, Catkins and Silverball at $13 and Boban and Sadler’s Lake both marked at $15 while the Gai Waterhlouse trained Pornichet is sandwiched in amongst them at $9.