Last Saturday’s Shannon Stakes winner Washington Heights is still a chance to back up this weekend in the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.
Washington Heights scored his third win from his last four starts with a last to first victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill but trainer Gerald Ryan was uncommitted if Washington Heights would head to Randwick this Saturday for the Epsom Handicap and would first see how the six year old pulls up after his hard run.
“He has pulled up better today than he has after his three previous starts this preparation,’’ Ryan told The Daily Telegraph.
“We will wait until Tuesday before deciding whether he runs in the Epsom but he does only have 50 kilos.”
Ryan likes to space Washington Heights runs with three or four weeks in between and this formula has worked this preparation but with only 50kg in the original weights, the Rosehill trainer will now give it some serious thought of tackling the $1m Handicap over the famous Randwick Mile.
With the equal Epsom Handicap top weights Black Heart Bart, Humidor and Le Romain, all on 58kg, and the Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic on 57kg, unlikely to accept, the weights will be raised 0.5kg so Happy Clapper, who originally had 56.5kg, will carry the 57kg mandatory top weight meaning that Washington Heights will now carry 50.5kg if Ryan decides to run him.
Washington Heights is currently marked at $17 for the Epsom Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper as the $4.50 favourite just ahead of Chris Waller’s dual Oaks winner Egg Tart at $5.50.
Waller also provides the next four horses in the betting with Comin’ Through at $9, Tom Melbourne at $10, Foxplay at $11 and McCreery at $15.
Ryan is also set to run Red Excitement in the Epsom Handicap and the eight year old is also listed as a $17 chance alongside of is stablemate.
The final acceptances for the Epsom Handicap will be taken at 9am on Tuesday September 26, 2017.