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Chipping Norton Stakes preview

The build-up to The Championships continues with a trip out to Warwick Farm, one of the lesser-used courses in Sydney, at least where feature races are concerned. The Chipping Norton is a Group 1 race over the metric mile but it also serves as a big pointer towards the rest of the autumn.

Joining the blog for the first time is astute Sydney racing judge Ben McDermott, @BTMcDermott. Welcome aboard!

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2015 Chipping Norton Stakes
Group 1 WFA, 1600m, Warwick Farm
4.15pm local time, 0515 GMT
Preview by Ben McDermott

Twitter - @BTMcDermott

Form guide

Odds comparison

Runners by number order as follows

Foreteller (Collett/ Waller) His first up run in the Apollo was encouraging and will take improvement from that run (Ran the fourth best final 600m (34.52). Draws inside which is a little awkward for this horse but will go back and run on. Not keen, I feel he will appreciate stepping up in distance following this race.

Boban (Schofield/ Waller) I labelled him on twitter as the most overrated horse in Sydney and he hasn’t failed to deliver on that comment so far this preparation. I thought his trial was very strong before running first up over 1200m where I thought he was about to explode over the top of them but found nothing. His second up run wasn’t much better. He isn’t showing anything to convince me he can even go close to winning here although keep in mind this has been his target race. Also keep in mind he needs a firm track to show his best and at this stage it looks like the track will have a little give in it.

Fiveandahalfstar (Clipperton/ A Cummings) Returned from two years off the racing scene with a solid hit out over 1200m. Will also need this run for fitness.

He’s Your Man (Shinn/ Waller) Got the gun run in the Apollo where he was first up however peaked on his run and his turn of foot was probably compromised a little due to the fact he was quite forward in running and they went solidly up front. He’s drawn the outside but has enough tactical speed to sit midfield. Goes well second up (4:2-0-1) and the distance will suit, however needs a dry track to show his best turn of foot. A strong each way chance.

Contributer (McDonald/ O’Shea) I keep coming back to the comment James McDonald made in the Spring regarding Contributer and he compared him to riding Fiorente! We saw glimpses of what he could do in his first run at Caulfield but given the nature of the track in the Emirates Stakes at Flemington many horses weren’t able to make up ground from the back and he was one of them. He’s in his second Australian preparation now and looks to be the real deal. Baring a flat run second up which is unlikely he will be winning this based on his impressive run first up in the Apollo. In that race he recorded the fastest final 400m of the day in 22.26! Flying! I feel Contributer and McDonald will be a lethal partnership this Autumn carnival.

Hawkspur (Cassidy/ Waller) Sadly his best years may be behind him already. Both runs this preparation have been uninspiring and I feel he just makes up the numbers in this.

Junoob (Avdulla/ Waller) Junoob is a horse you need to wait at least three runs in a preparation before you start backing him and its usually fourth up that he starts to peak. Will need this run and needs more ground.

Weary (Berry/ Waller) Going well this prep, winner of the Expressway first up. Second up in the Apollo when third behind Contributer I feel there were excuses to some extent as he was pushed forward to be on speed and he didn’t finish off as strongly as hoped, however he did have a fitness edge over Contributer that day. From barrier 10 Berry will probably make the decision to push forward again, I feel he has a place chance.

Who Shot Thebarman (Reith/ Waller) Waller’s best stayer resuming. He will take fitness benefit from this run but may be able to run a solid race given track work reports as well as trialling well. Noteworthy he has won twice at this distance although I believe a few of these will be too strong over this distance.

Ninth Legion (Bell/ Hawkes) Has been racing well consistently for a while, a good winner of the Carrington first up and second up in the Apollo he led gamely for a long way to finish second. Will have to do some work from barrier 12 to lead but if things go his way and the others aren’t on their game he may hang on to win.

Opinion (Angland/ Waller) Another one of Waller’s stayers resuming. Usually needs a couple of runs before hitting form.

Disclaimer (Parr/ Snowden) He was smashed in the Apollo first up. He needs easier races and more distance to be competitive.

Hartnell (Doyle/ O’Shea) Interesting gelding having its first run for Godolphin. Trialled nicely but he raced over much longer trips in England. I’d prefer to watch and see how he copes with the Australian way of racing and then back him when he steps up in trip. As well as needing the run he is treated poorly under the WFA scale and drawn wide.

Silent Achiever (McEvoy/ James) The class mare of the field. She seems to find her best form in the Autumn and particularly in Sydney. Her run first up in the Apollo stakes was great, recording the third best final 600m in 34.24. Stepping up in distance and drawing well are positives and she handles all surfaces. Based on her previous run she should be in for a decent preparation and should only improve from here on. If I have a reason not to back her it would be the distance (I feel she needs 2000m to be competitive at group 1 WFA) and I don’t like the appointment of McEvoy.

Lucia Valentina (Bowman/ Lees) Impressive resuming in the Apollo where she was in the inferior part of the track down the straight. Although her first up run was solid I’m not essentially keen to back her in this race as I feel the race won't pan out to suit her racing style, there doesn’t look too much speed in the race and she is drawn wide, will be giving key dangers a decent start around Warwick Farm (where I don’t like backing backmarkers). Also noteworthy is that she has failed to place both times when she’s been second up.

Selections

1. Contributer
2. He’s Your Man
3. Silent Achiever
4. Ninth Legion

Suggested Bet

Big win bet on Contributer

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