Racing’s all about winning but sometimes the real glory is actually bigger than the first prize.
At Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night that’s precisely the case. The first one past the post in the Group One Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint will not only collect $60,000 but will also be handed an invitation to potential further riches.
The Group 1 Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint is set to jump at 9:15pm (AEDT). Tune in to Sky Racing for comprehensive coverage!
The Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint is one of three races - along with last week’s Newcastle Mile, and next week’s Cordina Sprint – in which the winner is given a berth into the $750,000 Miracle Mile on November 29.
Ironically, all eyes this year will be firmly fixed on Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion Champion Beautide, the one pacer in the race which isn’t chasing that invitation.
The James Rattray-trained and driven star was invited to defend his title after producing a stunning 1.50.70s performance in the Group Three Nick Robin FFA at Menangle on November 1.
While an invitation is not required, Rattray believed one more run was needed, hence his decision for another hit out before his Mile title defence, and punters certainly believe it will be a winning warm-up, with Beautide - despite having to contend with a wide gate - installed a $1.95 with TAB.com.au Fixed Odds.
The major obstacle for Beauy, and $3.60 second elect, is Victorian rising star Guaranteed.
A member of the highly successful Emma Stewart team, and driven by one of the best in the business, Gavin Lang, the five-year-old is not only in great form, but has shown in the past a true passion for the wide open spaces of Menangle.
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the G1 Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint here.
Guaranteed has visited Menangle seven times and occupied the winner’s stall on six of those occasions, including four feature race wins.
Guaranteed has been unbeaten in three runs since resuming, winning the City of Melton Plate, the Swan Hill Cup and showing great toughness at his last start to score a stunning victory in the Kilmore Cup.
With the expected absence of the two emergencies, both drawn inside him, Guaranteed will start from gate five, and to me, he appeals at the $3.60 quote.
The one runner which will be the focus of everyone is the former Kiwi-trained pacer, Easy On The Eye which is now a member of the super successful Shane Tritton stable. The seven-year-old did look impressive when making his debut for Tritton at Newcastle on November 8 leading throughout and clocking a slick 1:54:00 over the mile. He has drawn to lead again from gate one, but won’t get it as easy as he did at Newcastle. The $6.50 with TAB.com.au may seem skinny to some, but we shouldn’t forget that Easy On The Eye now has the Midas touch of Tritton and Lauren Panella.
Had Bitobliss drawn closer to the rail he probably would have been pushing for second favourite behind Beautide. The Scott Stewart pacer is two from two this preparation, effortlessly leading all the way to win the Smoken Up Sprint at Tabcorp Park Melton last start.
Sky Racing’s very own Johnny Tapp will line up his old faithful pacer Chariot King who despite being eight, is arguably racing in career best form. His second in the Nick Robin FFA behind Beautide was a super performance, rattling off a startling last quarter, coming from last and taking lengths of the winner. Chariot King is an $18 chance and could be worth throwing into your exotics.
Teo Enteo is a consistent performer and is rarely out of a place. He’s not in the top echelon of horses but with the right run he can’t be dismissed at $12 “Hi Ho Silver! Away!”
Gold Coast Cup placegetter Abettorpunt is another at value worth adding to the trifectas and first fours.
While there’s a well known racing saying that you should never bet against a champion, I’ve decided in this case to go against that, and put Guaranteed on top. I just feel the $3.60 is great value about a horse on the rise who just loves the Menangle circuit.
My tips are Guaranteed to beat Beautide, Bitobliss and Chariot King.
It will be a huge night at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday, and Gareth Hall will be hosting trackside, so stay tuned to Sky Racing 1 for all the coverage, highlighted by the feature, the Group 1 Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint.
G3 - The Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Steeple Chase
G2 - Prix Raoul Balliere
G2 - Prix Ariste Hemard
G3 - Victress Stakes
G2 - Premier Trophy