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Centrebet Classic preview

A feature of Adelaide Cup Day has always been a high quality 3yo sprint which has gone by a number of names over the years. This edition has an exceptional-looking field so I had to step forward and give it the attention it deserves.


Centrebet Classic, Morphettville.
G2 3yo, 1200m, Set Weights.
R8, 4.47pm local time

1. Rusambo - initially looked like one of the better Darley juveniles but is now only one of their 'handy' ones. Won the Mitchell McKenzie Stakes (Listed) at Moonee Valley in the spring, resumed with a second in the four-runner Zeditave Stakes (Listed). Last start was well held by the high quality Rebel Dane at Rosehill. Normally you would suggest an Adelaide G2 would only be Melb/Sydney Listed class anyway, but not here. Drawn the outside, likely to drop back, can't see him troubling the judge.

2. Office Bearer - late-blooming three-year old, went from winning a Hamilton maiden to a pair of city restricted races in the spring. Resumed with an unlucky nose second in the Redelva (what a champ he was!) Stakes here just over a fortnight ago. Linda Meech is a decent jockey for the Moody stable but today he has the services of Luke Nolen, a sharp rise in class. Gave the winner 4kg last time, back to set weights helps.

3. Hioctdane - handy local gelding, didn't show a great deal until he stepped out past a mile, winning a Listed over 1800m in the spring. Not here.

4. Daytona Grey - decent run first-up running fourth in the Redelva, under 2L behind Office Bearer and conceding a kilo. Interestingly, Clare Lindop has switched to Essay Raider, I would assume she had the choice of mounts. Won't lose much with Lever aboard but doubt the son of Artie Schiller is up to this class.

5. Last Day - the latest talented sprinter from the David Jolly stable. Created a boom in the spring with impressive wins on his first two outings, and finished an unlucky third first-up in the Redelva Stakes (replay) - pushed very wide on the turn, covering several lengths more than the two ahead of him. Craig Williams replaces Jason Holder today, big tick, rail goes from 8m out back to 1m, big tick, and has more options available from gate 8 of 13 rather than 10 of 12 last time. Big chance.

6. Marble Rye - stepping up from BM78 class to a strong G2, no hope.

7. Essay Raider - bolted in on debut here back in September and later started 3.70 in a G3 in Melbourne, beaten 2L after being stuck three wide with no cover. Won a recent trial here against several of these rivals including Molto Bene a fortnight ago. Stable jockey Clare Lindop prefers him over Daytona Grey, that's a tip in itself. Drawn the car park, will be probably try to cross for the lead, don't like his chances unless he can get across.

8. Lady of Harrods - multiple Group 3 winner with victories over Kabayan, Shamexpress and Commanding Jewel in the spring which gains her the highest official handicap rating in the field. First-up record is nought from three but has had excuses in some of those. Likes to sit on pace, a task made trickier by drawing gate 11. Quality filly, if prepared to ignore the fresh record, she'll be a decent price.

9. Maybe Discreet - won the Morphettville Guineas and Edward Manifold Stakes over a mile last time in, then started second favourite when failing in the Thousand Guineas. On her home track, drawn in the middle, can go forward or back. Easily won a trial here a fortnight ago, solid claims.

10. Shamal Wind - the enigmatic runner. Played up at the gates in the Oakleigh Plate last start, was passed fit to run but her actions caused the favourite to scratch. Injury before the race may have been more mental than physical as she then ran second last off an easy run. Glen Boss retains the ride which is encouragement to wipe that run from memory. Had won all three starts before that incident, she's a speed filly and will sit just parked off the pace. Forgive her and 3.50 is a great price. Worry a little about what effect it has had, and it's a trap quote in this field. Hmm....

11. Molto Bene - Thousand Guineas favourite last spring who was knocked out of the race in the straight. Has changed trainer while in the paddock from one obscure yard to another so no great change there. First-up record is one win from two, last time in she was a bit unlucky, flashing home laste and conceding weight to all in front of her. Second in a recent trail (v Essay Raider) but probably carried more weight going by the respective riders. Expect her to get back and flash home, not necessarily a bad thing with plenty of pace in the race.

12. Stella Lante - big fan of this filly but she keeps finding trouble and running on late. Decent horse but I've sacked her, needs too many things to go right to win and those horses send you broke.

13. Lonhspresso - comes out of restricted class but has won her last two starts in a canter and if there's ever a stable to throw a horse in at the deep end, it's the Weir camp. Gate one looks a negative and she gets back and powers home, so Ben Melham will need to be very careful making his run. Second fav in the early betting but has to be a risk from the inside alley.


Lady of Harrods and Essay Raider should be able to cross her despite the wide gates, with Daytona Grey and Shamal Wind parked right behind them. Last Day should be able to slide in midfield one-off the fence, perhaps next to Maybe Discreet while Lonhspresso could be four or five pairs back inside Office Bearer.


Shamal Wind should enjoy all the favours in the run but I can't dive in at the price after her last run. There probably won't be any scars from that race but at the price, I'm in no rush to back her.

Last Day was an enormous run last time and with the addition of Craig Williams, I'm keen to be on the local fancy. Essay Raider flew in a recent trial, there's a good buzz about him and I'll include the fav for the minor placing. I'll be throwing in a few for the trifectas, risking the 13 and one set of combinations without Shamal Wind as well, hunting for a decent dividend.

Last Day
Essay Raider
Shamal Wind


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