1. Santa Ana Lane
This horse won this race in 2018 and has won 10 of his 40 starts, with 6 of those wins being over this distance. He came from well back to finish 2nd in the TJ Smith Stakes on a heavy track where he ran the best 800m-400m sectionals, then he worked home well for 3.5 lengths 6th in the All Aged Stakes last start. This is his favourite distance and he should fly home late to be in the finish.
In 2019 he won the Stradbroke Handicap so he already has a Group 1 win and has won over distances from 1100m to 1400m. He didn’t appear to like the heavy going when 7th in the TJ Smith Stakes, but has the best race sectionals when 2nd in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes over 1200m at Randwick last start.
With 8 wins and 9 places from 18 starts, the only time this horse has missed being in the trifecta was when he finished 10th of 16 in this race last year after over-racing and losing a plate. He won the Black Caviar Lightning in February, was placed in the Newmarket and William Reid Stakes, then won the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes by over 3 lengths last start. He is my top pick to win.
This classy mare has 7 wins over this distance and is a multiple Group 1 winner. She resumed for 2nd in the G3 RN Irwin Stakes, then appeared to be making a move when she dropped right out to finish last of 16 in the TAB Classic. She is way better than that and I expect her to make her presence known here.
Three runs back this gelding was 2nd in the Oakleigh Plate, before 4th in the Newmarket then 11th in the William Reid Stakes. He goes best when fresh and hasn’t raced for 8 weeks so is capable of placing here.
6. Jungle Edge
He is the oldest horse in the race and one of the best “mud” horses around. He winded badly to finish 14th in The Galaxy over 1100m at Rosehill on 21 March, then was never in doubt when he won the Group 3 DC McKay Stakes over 1100m by 1.7 lengths on a soft track here at Morphettville on 2 May. If it rains then back him
7. The Inevitable
This gelding has 8 wins from 13 starts, including the Silver Eagle in October. He ran on strongly last start for 0.4 lengths 2nd over 1000m at Flemington where he carried 60kg and should go better with the extra 200m and a 4kg drop in weight.
8. Order Of Command
He is going for a hat-trick after winning both starts so far this campaign. He resumed for a 2 length win over 1200m at Caulfield on 11 April, then won the Listed Wangoom Handicap over 1200m at Warrnambool on 6 May. This is a massive rise in class and will be his first time in a Group 1 race, but he is a certainly an in-form horse.
Last year he was slowly away and badly held up before flying home to just miss when 2nd in the 2019 running of this race. He finished last campaign with 4th in the Golden Eagle and resumed for 2nd behind Jungle Edge in the G3 DC McKay Stakes. He should go well here.
10. Bold Star
His best distance is 1000m and he is untested at Group 1 level. His last 2 starts were 4th in the listed Railway Stakes over 1000m and 4th in the G3 DC McKay Stakes. He would have to improve considerably to be in the finish here.
As a two-year-old she won the Blue Diamond Stakes and was 3rd in the Golden Slipper. She has yet to win as a three-year-old, but drove hard late to finish a close 2nd in the TAB Classic last start and is not without a hope.
This filly did a terrific job to hang on and win the Group 2 Euclase Stakes at this track and distance on 2nd May. She has drawn the inside gate and rates as an each-way chance.
13. Free Of Debt
The rank outsider of the field. She ran last in the Oakleigh Plate then last in the Listed Matrice Stakes, then improved after a 7 week break to run 2.1 lengths 5th in the G2 Euclase Stakes.
She worked home nicely for 2 lengths 4th in the TAB Classic last outing but her last win was a benchmark 82 at Murray Bridge in August 2019. Not the worst.
15. Li’l Kontra
This filly has numerous placings at this track but this is much tougher than the fields she normally races in. She always tries hard but this looks beyond her.