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SuperCoach Racing Round 5: Rob Sutherland’s metric picks for Derby Day and Golden Eagle

After a couple of tough rounds of SuperCoach Racing this weekend we’re back in the sweet spot with loads of affordable Group 1 runners on offer.

So let’s get cracking reviewing the field for Round Five and see which rate the best in my metric.

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Farnan looks like a quality option in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

For those who are new to this column, each week I rank the leading contenders that offer a, hopefully, winning blend of popularity in the betting market and cheap SuperCoach price.

To compare apples with apples I have added a weighting to reflect the different points on offer for Group 1, 2, 3 and non black type races.

Below I list the 30 best rated horses, run through the stable I have selected and then throw in a bit of bonus analysis on the jockeys too.

THE 30 TOP-RATED HORSES FOR ROUND ONE (GROUP ONE IN BOLD):

FROM THIS LIST I HAVE SELECTED THE FOLLOWING STABLE OF 11 HORSES

Victoria Quay sits atop my ratings and I expect the filly will be the most popular emergency of the round as she’s just $75K and sits on the second line of betting in the G2 Wakeful Stakes. The favourite in the race is Personal, she comes into this after a fast-finishing second in the G1 Thousand Guineas at her last start and at $175K looks to have this race at her mercy.

I’ve one more G2 runner in my stable and that’s Octane. He’s got a great strike rate (seven wins from 15 starts), finished third in the G2 Schillaci at his last start and will appreciate the larger Flemington track.

From here on it’s all about Group 1 points for the Beasts with eight runners remaining.

The Victoria Derby is always a bit of a risk with young horses being asked to step out to the 2,500m and while Young Werther is the favourite I really like the chances of Cherry Tortoni. So I’ve taken both.

I’ve also loaded up in the Coolmore Stud Stakes – really loaded up – with three horses here. The race is a ‘stallion maker’ but it’s a filly, September Run, who is the best rated horse in my metric. She’s the favourite and she’s $50K cheaper than my other two runners. Wild Ruler won the G2 Roman Consul at his last start and the wide barrier is not an issue down the Flemington straight. Then there’s Golden Slipper winner Farnan, jockey Glen Boss is usually confident but he’s particularly so here and let’s hope Bossy gives another salute like he did when winning the Cox Plate last week.

The Empire Rose looks like there are a few chances but I can’t go past Odeum. She won a the G1 Thousand Guineas at her last start, has just 49kg here and is significantly cheaper than the other main hopes in the race.

Speaking of tricky races, none looks harder to pick with confidence than the Golden Eagle. There are 22 horse in the field and my pick, Funstar, has drawn the outside barrier. But the speed maps suggest she’ll be able to roll forward early and get some cover and she’ll enjoy the soft track too.

My last runner, Buffalo River, is one I’m not 100% confident in as The Cantala is a race full of genuine chances. But the Moroney gelding has a superb strike rate (12 starts 6-4-1) and should roll towards the lead here. He may not win but will give every chance of a top-5 finish and I’ll take that.

CAPTAIN: I’m flip flopping between Funstar and Farnan to carry my armband in Round 5. At this stage leaning towards Farnan.

MORE SUPERCOACH RACING NEWS

Our experts reveal their Round 5 SuperCoach stables

AND NOW TO JOCKEYS

It’s a bumper field of nominations because there’s no clear candidates – unlike last round when Jamie Kah really stood out … and I tipped her … and forgot to change my jockey from the previous round. That hurt.

Craig Williams has the best Melbourne book and Nash Rawiller/Jason Collett both look good up in Sydney. Hard to split them so just pick your favourite rider out of that trio I reckon.

Originally published asRound 5: The SuperCoach stable the bookies pick

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Aussie skipper brutally axed for prodigy

After a lean patch with the bat, Australian one-day captain Aaron Finch was brutally axed from his Indian Premier League side on Wednesday evening.

Representing the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Finch only passed 20 three times in 11 innings during the T20 tournament.

The 33-year-old has scored 236 runs at 21.45 to date, with a disappointing strike rate of 111.84.

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Ahead of Bangalore’s clash with the Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi, Finch was omitted from the starting XI and replaced by Australian young gun Josh Phillippe.

Aaron Finch in the IPL.Source:FOX SPORTS

Having not played an IPL match in over a month, Phillippe struck 33 off 24 balls before he was stumped off Indian spinner Rahul Chahar’s bowling in the eighth over.

Mumbai went on to claim a five-wicket victory, chasing the 165-run target with five balls to spare.

Australian paceman James Pattinson struggled to have an impact with the ball, finishing with 0/35 from his three overs.

Meanwhile, Indian superstar Virat Kohli also had an underwhelming game, managing just nine runs from 14 deliveries before he was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah.

Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra said Philippe would potentially open the innings and take the wicketkeeping gloves for the remainder of the IPL.

“Without doubt, because now that you’ve taken a call in the 12th game … it’s like a line in the sand,” Chopra told ESPN.

“Now that you’ve decided to go in a different direction, just invest in the direction you’ve mapped out for yourself.”

The young buck has taken over the old buck at #RCB
Big call to leave Finch out, but @joshphilippe2 equal to the task. If you are going to win #IPL2020 you have to make tough calls. #MIvsRCB

The Royal Challengers — who are coached by former Australian batsman Simon Katich — currently sit in second spot on the IPL ladder, having won seven of their 12 matches to date.

Bangalore will next face the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Sharjah on Saturday evening.

On Thursday afternoon, national selectors unveiled the Australian one-day squad to take on India this summer. Phillippe was a notable omission from the 18-player squad.

— with NCA NewsWire

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Wagga, Moree races: Trainer Mick Smith torn between staying pair in 3200m test

Mick Smith talks with excitement ahead of the opening race at Wagga because it’s over 3200m.

And the Queanbeyan trainer has two chances lining up in the staying event who the punters have been able to separate but he’s struggling to.

Hilltop Hood takes on stablemate Hello China and, while the former is battling it out for favouritism, the latter is at double-figure odds in the small field.

“I think they’re both going to go well,” Smith said. “I don’t want to get into trouble here but on his day Hello China is probably the better of the two horses but Hello China has got a mind of his own.

“If the genuine Hello China turns up, he’s just as likely to win as the other fella. He’s had seven wins and Shaun Guymer has rode him in six of them.”

The Stan Sadleir Stakes is the feature race at Wagga on Friday. Picture: Mark EvansSource:News Corp Australia

Hilltop Hood does come into the race with better form behind him and won last start at Wagga in a 2500m race. Uncharacteristically, he led all the way under Nick Heywood which is hard to do in staying races and it will be even harder to repeat it over more ground on Friday.

“I couldn’t look at the turn. He’s never led in his life. One time he got to the lead at Bega then he stopped and waited for the others before charging home again,” Smith said.

“Hilltop Hood is a beautiful horse with big feet and he likes the slow ground and I thought his win the other day was great.

“He was strong through the line and Nick was impressed with him. Straight after the race I asked Nick if he thought he’d be fine to step up to 3200m and he said ‘no worries’.”

Hello China will handle a wet track better than Hilltop Hood however and he’s rock-hard fit and shouldn’t have any excuses.

“We tried to get Hello China ready for the 3800m race at Wagga a few months ago but it ended up being called off so he’s been ready for this distance since August,” Smith said.

“I’ve taken them in the quinella. Obviously the Ciaron Maher horse (Dambulla) is hard to beat. It brings different form lines and I think will be the favourite.”

Smith has never had a runner over 3200m but was appreciative of the club having put the race on. Despite his two horses having had a good grounding for the gruelling test, he’s naturally got a few doubts in his mind.

“The winner the other day at 2500m was the furthest distance I’ve trained a winner at so you don’t know if you’ve done everything perfect for 3200m,” he said. “I think I have but as a country trainer you never know. It’s not like you’ve had the chance to do it 100 times.

“I’ve ran them up interchangeably their whole preps so they’ve had similar campaigns.”

Smith also runs Beauty At Dawn in the fifth race and even though she’s unplaced in four runs and is at long odds, Smith thinks she can run her best race.

“I think she’s going really nicely for me and I’m excited to see how she runs,” he said. “I think she wants further, but I’m hoping she can run in the first three.”

Nick Heywood will be chasing back-to-back wins on Hilltop Hood in the opener at Wagga. Picture: Mark EvansSource:News Corp Australia

MOREE

ANCHOIS ON THE MONEY

Anchois only has to do one thing at Moree – hold his current form – and he’ll win.

The Choisir six-year-old runs in a Class 3 Handicap (950m) for trainer Aiden St Vincent, who watched on proudly as Anchois ran 1½ lengths fourth behind Never Talk at Newcastle last start. He’s in an easier even race on Friday and has his second start for his new stable.

“I think he’s only got to repeat his run the other day at Newcastle and I can see him winning that race,” St Vincent said. “It was good first-up considering he was off for 12 months.

“He’s taken enough benefit out of it and he’s on the comeback trail from an injury which is why he started off over 900m and this race is now well within his reach.

“He’s definitely got that class factor on his side in a race like that. It’s been a juggling act to get him fit but keep him sound at the same time but we’re heading in the right direction.”

Kingoftheharbour also runs for St Vincent in the first race and he’s looking for his first win at start 13. He’s only had three placings but also drops back in grade off a sixth placing at the provincials last time.

“His run wasn’t too bad at Newcastle,” St Vincent said. “They ran quicker time in his maiden than they did in the benchmark race. They went home in 32 seconds and he got back from a bad gate and couldn’t make up the ground.

“He’s back to handicap conditions in the bush and won’t have to carry 59kg.”

If the five-year-old brings his best he’ll be competitive from a good draw (4) in a big field.

“He’s been a bit of an on and off horse. He’s run nice races and you’d think he would’ve won by now but he can do some things wrong,” St Vincent said. “He’s more suited to this shorter race and now that he’s back in ground he’s a chance.”

Ski Missile is St Vincent’s leading contender in the fourth race as he takes on stablemate Modulo.

“They’re both in their right races. If Ski Missile drew a better barrier I’d be very confident he’d run in the first three,” St Vincent said. “I’ve only had the other horse for a few weeks and he needs to be running over a mile to be competitive.”

Sky Racing News Update; Wednesday 28th October

Sky Racing News Update; Wednesday 28th October.

Originally published asWagga, Moree preview: Smith torn between stayers

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England players can’t stay in bubble too long over mental health concerns


England players will be monitored by the ECB with their time in the bio-secure bubbles limited to avoid strain on their mental health, director of cricket Ashley Giles has said.

England played against the West Indies, Ireland, Pakistan and Australia after cricket returned in July amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Teams were restricted to bio-secure environments in both Manchester and Southampton.

A similar scenario faces Eoin Morgan’s limited overs side when they visit South Africa for six matches in November and December, with Giles aware of the risks posed by extended time cut off from the outside world.

“These are extreme circumstances for everyone — it is not normal spending a long period of time in a bio-secure environment,” Giles told Sky Sports.

“We are working on strategies to get people in and out of bubbles easier, whether that be players or management, and that will need the cooperation of opposition teams.”

Morgan is currently playing in the Indian Premier League’s bubble in the United Arab Emirates.

The England skipper admits players could withdraw if worried about their mental health.

And Giles concedes there could be an element of rotation moving forward to avoid unnecessary strain on players.

“We are very aware we have a huge amount of cricket coming up and we can’t keep the same people in those bubbles the whole time,” added Giles.

England will take on South Africa in the first of three T20 internationals on 27 November at Newlands with the last of three ODIs coming on 9 December also at the iconic Cape Town ground.

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The Indian summer is FINALLY locked in — and a Boxing Day Test with fans is on the menu

Rejoice – this summer’s international cricket calendar has finally been revealed, with Virat Kohli’s India locked in for six limited overs matches and four Tests.

With the coronavirus pandemic throwing up numerous hurdles, this summer’s schedule has undergone several transformations since an initial version was released in May but the end product gives cricket fans plenty to be excited about.

With the NSW government stepping up to quarantine the Indian squad, the two teams will begin hostilities in Sydney, with the SCG to host the opening two one-day internationals on November 27 and November 29.

The opening ODI will be the first time Australia’s men’s team has played a home match since March and India’s first anywhere since the same month.

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Border gets behind Cam Green

Cricket: Former Aussie test captain Allan Border drops into the FOX Sports newsdesk to chat the upcoming India vs Australia test series.

The two sides will then travel to the nation’s capital, with Manuka Oval to host the ODI series decider on December 4 and the opening two Twenty20s on December 6 and 8. The white ball leg of the tour concludes in Sydney with one last T20 on December 8.

Australia will begin its battle to win back the Border-Gavaskar trophy at Adelaide Oval, with one of Test cricket’s marquee rivalries to resume in a day-night affair on December 17.

It will be the first day-night Test played between the teams, neither of which have lost with the pink ball.

Neither side has lost a day-night Test previously, with the Australian men’s team winning all four twilight Tests in Adelaide against New Zealand, South Africa,

That historic test will be followed by a traditional Boxing Day match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26, and in a boon for the blue riband match, Premier Daniel Andrews expects there to be a crowd.

The sides will then return to Sydney for the New Year’s Test, starting on January 7 this summer, before the series’ final match commences on January 15 at the Gabba.

Nick Hockley, CA’s Interim Chief Executive Officer said they held out hope to have fans attend the traditional Boxing Day Test.

“The safety of the Australian community and all participants is our highest priority and we will continue to work with governments across Australia to ensure the schedule proceeds in line with relevant directions and biosecurity protocols,” he said.

“In relation to the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, we are working in partnership with the Victorian Government and the Melbourne Cricket Club, with plans to safely host spectators at the iconic event. More details will be shared closer to the time.”

Foxtel Group chief Patrick Delany said: “The 2020-21 cricket season is shaping up as one of the biggest summers of cricket ever. We are incredibly excited with today’s confirmation of the Indian Tour dates by Cricket Australia … We can’t wait to bring Foxtel and Kayo viewers what will be an amazing summer of cricket.

“I would like to thank the players, staff, match officials and everyone involved at Cricket Australia for all they are doing to get this exciting tour up and running.”

FULL SCHEDULE

ODI SERIES

Friday, November 27, 2:40pm at the SCG (D/N)

Sunday, November 29, 2:40pm at the SCG (D/N)

Wednesday, December 2, 2:40pm at Manuka Oval, Canberra (D/N)

T20 SERIES

Friday, December 4, 7:10pm at Manuka Oval, Canberra (Night)

Sunday, December 6, 7:10pm at SCG , Canberra (Night)

Tuesday, December 8, 7:10pm at SCG, Canberra (Night)

TEST SERIES

December 17-21, D/N, 2:30pm at Adelaide Oval (D/N)

December 26-30, 10:30am at the MCG

January 7-11, 10:30am at the SCG

January 15-19, 10am at the Gabba

Fox Cricket / Kayo will also air the Australia A v India Tour Match – Dec 11,12,13 – Day Night Match at the SCG. The first seven of India’s matches in Australia will only be available on Foxtel and Kayo.

Originally published asBoxing Day Test verdict revealed

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Golden Eagle 2020: Chris Waller and Tommy Berry hoping smart mare can claim new premier race

This was a raceday Chris Waller did not want to miss — the inaugural running of the Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens.

Sydney’s second richest race, boasting prizemoney of $7.5 million, was introduced last year and Waller had the two leading chances, Kolding and Arcadia Queen.

But the Hall of Fame trainer needed to go to extraordinary lengths to be among the 20,000 on track for the big race.

“I remember last year well because I started the morning at Flemington trackwork then caught a plane back to Sydney so I could go to the races at Rosehill,’’ Waller said.

“Then after the last race, I got a plane back to Melbourne for the Cup.

“But I won’t be going down this year. I was hoping they might open up the borders but that won’t be happening.’’

Workaholic Waller’s busy travel schedule paid off when Kolding won the Golden Eagle but the trainer can see the bigger picture and what this race will mean for the Sydney spring carnival in years to come.

“I thought the Golden Eagle raceday last year was pretty special,’’ Waller said.

“It was on my home track and I think that was the main reason I came back as I felt it was important to support this race and support Rosehill being a part of the extended Sydney spring carnival.

“The Golden Eagle is a unique race and it has attracted some very good horses, last year’s race certainly did.’’

Star jockey Tommy Berry rode Brutal for Team Hawkes in the Golden Eagle last year, finishing only 11th after enduring a tough run from a wide barrier.

But the result aside, the raceday left a lasting impression on the jockey.

“You could sense it was a big day from the moment you walked onto the track, it just had a different feel to it,’’ Berry said.

“It was a pretty pleasing day for me being a ‘westie’. I was born and grew up at Warwick Farm.

“I’ve lived my whole life out in the western suburbs and rarely if ever went to the city and over to the eastern suburbs until I started riding in town.

“So, I felt quite proud to step on to Rosehill and see the crowd that was on track for the Golden Eagle 12 months ago.

“It’s a different sort of crowd to what you see at Randwick, too. You get a lot more families and see a lot more kids at the races at Rosehill which I love as I have a young family myself. It was pretty cool to be a part of such a good day.

Trainer Chris Waller is hoping he can go back-to-back in the first two Golden Eagles.Source:News Corp Australia

“Obviously it won’t be the same this year but seeing how well prepared the ATC was for The Everest a couple of weeks ago it gives you a lot confidence going into this meeting.’’

The coronavirus pandemic will restrict the Golden Eagle crowd to about 6000 race fans on Saturday but Berry said there will be no mistaking the big-race atmosphere on track.

“I notice the difference in the jockeys room,’’ Berry said.

“Normally everyone is having a bit of a joke and a laugh but before The Everest a couple of weeks ago everyone sat in their spot in the room, went through their form, did some stretching — it was very quiet.

“The Golden Eagle was like that last year. It is certainly not a normal day for everyone. There is a lot of prizemoney on the line for connections and also for the charities chosen for each horse. It’s a great concept.’’

For the second running of $7.5 million Iron Jack Golden Eagle (1500m), Berry will team up with the Waller stable to ride Funstar.

The Golden Eagle barrier draw was conducted during a cruise on Sydney Harbour on Tuesday for connections with runners in the big race. Unfortunately for Waller and Berry, Funstar will start out of the extreme outside gate, barrier 18.

Funstar was as short as $4.20 for the Golden Eagle before the draw but TAB Fixed Odds price assessors eased her out to $4.80 after she was drawn off the track. Alligator Blood is on the second line of betting at $6.50.

But with the likelihood of a wet track for Saturday’s big race, all is not lost for Funstar as the mare has a superior record on rain-affected surfaces. In fact, her five career wins have been on tracks rated soft or heavy.

Tommy Berry will partner Funstar for the first time in the Golden Eagle.Source:Getty Images

Berry is having his first race ride on Funstar but partnered the mare in a barrier trial two weeks ago and was in the saddle when she had a fast workout at Rosehill trackwork on Monday morning.

“Funstar is really well, she handles all (track) conditions and had a good gallop earlier this week, she is ready for the race,’’ Waller said.

“She has similar credentials to Kolding last year although he won the Epsom before the Golden Eagle.

“The Cox Plate was an option but she has already won a Group 1 race and she is running for great prizemoney on her home track on Saturday.

“There is nothing to say she can’t get to a Cox Plate next year if she is good enough.’’

Waller also has another mare, Subpoenaed ($26) and four-year-old entire Reloaded ($51) in the Golden Eagle.

Subpoenaed won the Golden Pendant over 1400m at Rosehill two starts back then ran sixth in Flit’s Silver Eagle.

Reloaded, a minor placegetter behind Castelvecchio in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) earlier this year, ran a close third in the Tramway Handicap (1400m) when resuming this spring but hasn’t raced since his fifth in the Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) six weeks ago.

“Subpenoaed didn’t have much luck last start but she loves Rosehill, she’s a fit horse and will keep them honest as her soft track form is good,’’ Waller said.

“Reloaded is there as well and he is capable of running a very good race.’’

When interviewing Waller and Berry, it is obvious they covet the Golden Eagle. Sure, the prizemoney is fantastic but it is more than that. As proud “westies” this race means something to them.

MORE RACING NEWS

Sky Racing News Update: Tuesday 27th October 2020

Sky Racing News Update: Tuesday 27th October 2020.

Originally published as‘Westies’ relying on their gun mare landing the Eagle

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Jordan Childs lost the ride on one-time Melbourne Cup favourite Surprise Baby but now he has been booked for another Cup contender

Jordan Childs has bounced back from the disappointment of losing the ride on one-time Melbourne Cup favourite Surprise Baby to nab the mount on Willie Mullins’ Cup contender Stratum Albion.

Childs, the son of two-time Cox Plate winning hoop Greg, was all class in August when learning he had been sacked in favour of Craig Williams for the spring ride on Surprise Baby.

At the time, Jordan Childs said: “I have lost the Melbourne Cup ride but I’m not losing hope, things change quickly over spring,“ Childs said.

“I am not going to burn any bridges.

“I‘ve just got to keep chipping away and keep working hard and hopefully find another one.”

And that is exactly what has transpired with Irish training wizard Mullins booking Childs for the Melbourne Cup ride on Stratum Albion.

Stratum Albion has successfully mixed hurdling and flat racing over the last few years. But the eight-year-old ran a solid second in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (2m) on the flat at his last run in August.

He is going into the Melbourne Cup without an Australian lead-up run and is rated a $34 chance by TAB.

In other Melbourne Cup jockey news, Damian Lane has been booked for Danny O’Brien runner King Of Leogrance.

King Of Leogrance is currently No 23 in the Melbourne Cup order of entry but there is still a chance he could miss the Cup field if Zebrowski (no 25 in order of entry) wins Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup and gets handed a Cup penalty.

The winner of Saturday’s Group 3 Lexus Hotham Stakes at Flemington wins a golden ticket into the Melbourne Cup.

Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare is still without a jockey for this year’s race however Fred Kersley and Jamie Mott are two names in the mix.

If King Of Leogrance failed to snare a Cup start, Lane could potentially be another option for Vow And Declare’s 2020 Melbourne Cup bid.

Meanwhile, Declan Bates has been booked to ride Mullins’ other Melbourne Cup contender, last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner True Self.

Michael Rodd, who won the 2007 Melbourne Cup on Efficient, will partner Mustajeer in the Cup for trainer Kris Lees.

It has now been confirmed Glen Boss, who will ride Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet in the Melbourne Cup, has retained the ride on Godolphin sprinter Bivouac in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington on Saturday week.

Hugh Bowman had been Bivouac’s regular partner until Boss ran second on the James Cummings-trained sprinter in The Everest.

Originally published asMelbourne Cup jockey games hit full swing

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‘I reckon she will win it’

Wendy Roche is glad Victoria’s lockdown conditions have eased because she reckons stable star Nettoyer will celebrating, sinking bubbly and eating pizza all over Melbourne come Saturday night.

Roche is set to back up her quirky Doncaster winner, known for a unique diet that would have most equine nutritionists pulling their hair out, in Saturday’s Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington.

Nettoyer is on a seven-day turnaround after she was a $101 outsider in last Saturday’s Cox Plate at The Valley, running well above that quote when coming from last to finish ninth in the $5 million weight-for-age classic.

Roche had no hesitation making the decision to turn her focus to another Group 1 assignment on the short back up after the run.

Nettoyer heading to the barriers for the Cox Plate.Source:Getty Images

And she believes her talented mare will be the horse to beat over the mile at Flemington.

“I reckon she will win it,” Roche said.

“She was a bit of a victim of circumstances in the Cox Plate but has pulled up terrific and should be going very close on Saturday.

“She is thriving. She is eating well and her weight is what it normally is at 522kg.”

Roche came to Flemington with Nettoyer last spring to contest the Empire Rose Stakes and Matriarch Stakes but the daughter of Sebring failed to produce her best when missing the placings in both runs.

From last to first, what a performance 🐎 💨

Nettoyer's Doncaster gives @InnesJnr and @WendyRoche3 their first Group 1 win! @7horseracing pic.twitter.com/6nPdVWb1LZ

The Warwick Farm trainer believes her seven-year-old star, which provided her with her maiden Group 1 win in the Doncaster can turn the tables in 2020.

“Every other time she has gone to Flemington she has went terrible but it has been at the end of her carnival and she has had some excuses,” Roche said.

“Last time she raced there she got pneumonia and had to stay down there.

“This time I think she is going there in great form and a strong Cox Plate back to the mile should really suit her.

“When she won the Doncaster she ran in the Ranvet over 2000m then back to the mile so that works for her.”

Trainer Wendy Roche (right) after winning the Doncaster Mile. Photo: AAP Image/Dan HimbrechtsSource:AAP

Roche has enlisted the services of the in-form Glen Boss for the Empire Rose with the jockey riding high on confidence from his fourth Cox Plate victory aboard Sir Dragonet last weekend at The Valley.

“He has ridden her before and gets on with her. Being in form as well, he is the number one man for the job,” Roche said.

“I won’t give him any instructions. Bossy knows what he is doing.

“If there is one instruction it will be just to get her to the gates.”

TAB.com.au have Nettoyer at $10 for the the Empire Rose Stakes with Tasmanian star Mystic Journey the $3.50 favourite.

The final field will be declared on Wednesday morning.

Originally published asEmpire Rose Stakes: ‘I reckon she will win it’

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TAB betting outlets in Melbourne are re-opening after easing of COVID-19 restrictions

Victorians have another new reason to celebrate with the TAB announcing its agencies will re-open for business in metropolitan Melbourne from Wednesday.

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions announced by the Victorian government has come just in time for Melbourne Cup week which kicks off with Victoria Derby day on Saturday.

Punters will also be able to bet at pub and club TABs in Melbourne.

Punters in TABs will be able to bet early on the Melbourne Cup on the tote from Sunday to help ease demand on raceday.

COVID-safe measures will be implemented across TAB outlets including:

– COVID marshals on duty at agencies on key days

– Frequent cleaning of agencies and surfaces

– Hand sanitising stations installed

– Capacity limit signage, COVID-safe signage

– Floor decals showing 1.5m spacing

– QR codes to allow electronic access to form and popular markets on customers’ own devices

Metropolitan Melbourne has been in lockdown since July but Premier Dan Andrews eased restrictions on Monday and there have now been two consecutive days with no new coronavirus cases recorded.

Originally published asTAB outlets back in play in Melbourne

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Cyrname among 20 entries in Charlie Hall

Cyrname is one of 20 entries for the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.

The Paul Nicholls-trained eight-year-old is the highest-rated chaser in Britain, having beaten Altior in a highly-anticipated clash on his seasonal reappearance at Ascot last November.

He was subsequently well beaten by stable companion Clan Des Obeaux when a hot favourite for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, before suffering a heavy fall at the final fence when last seen defending his crown in the Ascot Chase in February.

Nicholls was initially keen on the idea of sending Cyrname to Down Royal for this weekend’s Ladbrokes Champion Chase, but restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have prompted a change of plan.

The 176-rated chaser has also been entered for Saturday’s Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot, but is widely expected to head for Wetherby, where he could be joined by stable companion Black Corton.

Trending

The last two winners of the Charlie Hall in the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ballyoptic and Brian Ellison’s Definitly Red are in the mix once again, while leading Irish trainer Gordon Elliott has a trio of contenders in Alpha Des Obeaux, Shattered Love and The Storyteller.

Other contenders include Warren Greatrex’s pair of Keeper Hill and La Bague Au Roi, Nicky Henderson’s Might Bite, the Colin Tizzard-trained Slate House and Jedd O’Keeffe’s stable star Sam Spinner.

Lisnagar Oscar, a shock winner of the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, could reappear in the bet365 Hurdle – better known as the West Yorkshire Hurdle.

Rebecca Curtis’ inmate is one of 19 possible runners, with Paul Webber’s Indefatigable, Dan Skelton’s mare Roksana and the Philip Hobbs-trained Thyme Hill among his potential rivals.

Verdana Blue and Stormy Ireland, trained by Henderson and Nicholls respectively, could clash in the bet365 Mares’ Hurdle.

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