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VRC Sprint Preview & Insights: Will Redzel Go Back To Back?

November 9, 2018

By Blake

One of the most exciting Group-1s of the Melbourne Spring Carnival is the time-honoured VRC Sprint Classic. This year’s rendition is an absolute belter with horses coming from both the Everest and the Manikato. We have done the hard work for you and analysed the form for all 14 starters.  

1. Redzel

  • Trainer: P & P Snowden
  • Jockey: K McEvoy
  • Barrier: 8
  • Odds: $4.20    
  • BET NOW

A two-time Everest winner, who won this race last year, commands respect. Expect this late in the carnival they will be heading down the outside rail, so he has drawn to advantage. Won’t get a soft lead like the Everest but he can sustain a fast tempo and still finish a race off. Terrific horse and the one to beat here.

2. Brave Smash

  • Trainer: D Weir
  • Jockey: C Williams
  • Barrier: 10
  • Odds: $15
  • BET NOW

Was very impressive last start winning the Manikato Stakes where he beat plenty of horses he faces again today. Couldn’t let down on the heavy track 2 starts ago in the Everest so that is a total forget run. Will greatly benefit from the hot pace and will be rattling home late. Major player.

3. Santa Ana Lane

  • Trainer: A Freedman
  • Jockey: M Zahra
  • Barrier: 5
  • Odds: $11
  • BET NOW

Battled on fairly last start in The Everest where half the field didn’t handle the track. Fell in two starts back beating the likes of Redzel and In Her Time where the super quick tempo assisted him and ruined the chances of his rivals. Will get every chance to run on here but happy to be against.

4. Redkirk Warrior (GBR)

  • Trainer: D & B Hayes, T Dabernig
  • Jockey: R Bayliss
  • Barrier: 11
  • Odds: $11
  • BET NOW

First run back from a UK trip which can be ruled out as two forget runs. Will be on speed eye balling Redzel so will need to tough it out, but he is the best straight track horse in the country so back to Flemington must be respected.

5. Jungle Cat

  • Trainer: C Appleby
  • Jockey: W Buick
  • Barrier: 2
  • Odds: $15
  • BET NOW

Was lucky to win the Rupert Clark Stakes (1400m) two starts back and subsequently did nothing last start in the Toorak (1600m). Freshened up and back to 1200m but looks a class below these.

6. Pierata

  • Trainer: G Hickman
  • Jockey: T Berry
  • Barrier: 3
  • Odds: $6.50
  • BET NOW

Was super impressive last start winning the Sydney Stakes (1200m). Was handy to a slow speed and sprinted away with it to record a comfortable win. Won’t get a soft tempo like last start but shouldn’t settle as close as he did there. Needs to lift even more to compete with the best but if he gets all favours in the run could run a place.

7. Kementari

  • Trainer: J Cummings
  • Jockey: G Schofield
  • Barrier: 9
  • Odds: $6.50
  • BET NOW

Set an impossible task in the Manikato where he was back last and 4-wide around Mooney Valley. Should get a much easier run here in behind the speed. This is his chance to stamp his authority as a top line sprinter. Winning chance.

8. Spirit of Valor (USA)

  • Trainer: A O’Brien
  • Jockey: W Lordan
  • Barrier: 5 
  • Odds: $11
  • BET NOW

Tough run last start in the Manikato where he was wide without cover and was just beaten by Brave Smash. Even after that run he still looks just a class below the best here and it will be hard to see him winning this.

9. Intelligence Cross (USA)

  • Trainer: A O’Brien
  • Jockey: D Lane
  • Barrier: 4
  • Odds: $201
  • BET NOW

Has done absolutely nothing in his two Australian starts. Can’t see him improving enough to trouble anything in this race.

10. US Navy Flag (USA)

  • Trainer: A O’Brien
  • Jockey: R Moore
  • Barrier: 13
  • Odds: $13
  • BET NOW

Has missed the start in both of his Australian runs and that has cost him a fair bit. The big Flemington track should suit him and if he can jump cleanly will be able to put himself into the race. Outside chance.

11. Fleet Review (USA)

  • Trainer: A O’Brien
  • Jockey: J McDonald
  • Barrier: 6
  • Odds: $91
  • BET NOW

Another who hasn’t made much impression in his Australian runs. Had excuses in the Manikato where he was caught wide. Would still need to improve to get near these.

12. In Her Time

  • Trainer: Kris Lees
  • Jockey: Corey Brown
  • Barrier: 7
  • Odds: $14
  • BET NOW

Drawn perfectly inside Redzel and she should be able to position herself to advantage and track him into the race. Didn’t handle the heavy conditions in the Everest and before that put in a super run 1st up. Major Player.

13. Spright

  • Trainer: G Frazer
  • Jockey: D Oliver
  • Barrier: 14
  • Odds: $31
  • BET NOW

Put in an eye-catching run when she flew home for 4th in the Manikato. Will benefit greatly from the fast tempo and if she gets some luck in running will be there in the finish. Winning chance.

14. Invincible Star

  • Trainer: G Waterhouse & A Bott
  • Jockey: S Baster
  • Barrier: 1
  • Odds: $31
  • BET NOW

Stuck on well last start in the Manikato where she was only beaten a length. Will go forward and give herself every chance. Drawn awkwardly as they should go down the outside rail, but it won’t surprise if they stick to the inside rail. Not the roughest hope.

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