Just eleven runners will line up for the 2014 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) on day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick this weekend after Robert Quinton-trained Boss Lane was removed from the final field as a result of the expected soft track.
Having returned to the track in scintillating form this preparation, Sidestep has opened as and maintained favouritism in betting markets for success in the 2014 Royal Sovereign Stakes at a quote of $4, ahead of Chautauqua ($4.40), market mover Bounding ($6), Safeguard and Thump; sharing the fourth line of betting at generous $11 odds.
Will Sidestep justify favouritism and win the 2014 Royal Sovereign Stakes, or will one of his talented rivals find the line in the clear?
Contesting an impressive career of seven wins and three seconds from only ten race starts to date, New Zealand-based raider Bounding offers punters sensational value to money at current $6 odds. Debuting with two impressive back-to-back victories, the Lonhro filly was close to unstoppable in her spring/summer preparation in 2013, winning three on the trot before running an unlucky second in the Group 1 1000 Guineas (1600m) and breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level of racing in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) on January 1st. While allocated the wide barrier, trainer Ken Kelso is confident regular jockey Mark Du Plessis will guide his star to victory this weekend.
Securing three wins and three places from 13 race starts to date, Thump contested a particularly strong four race spring preparation, winning both the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m) and finishing third in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) on notably. While yet to string together a consistent run of form this season, the Red Ransom filly was impressive when comfortably claiming the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) on March 8th, and poses a serious threat to the 2014 Royal Sovereign Stakes from the central barrier 7 with regular jockey Jim Cassidy on board.
Unlucky to finish second behind fellow Royal Sovereign Stakes acceptor Shamalia in Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) first-up on March 15th, Sidestep will carry winning form into this weekend’s Group 2 after poking clear to win the Listed Darby Munro Open (1200m) last time out. Currently racing in arguably career best form to date, Sidestep will leave from the ideal barrier five in the Royal Sovereign Stakes with in-form jockey Kerrin McEvoy on board.
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