The 2018 VRC Sprint Classic takes place at Flemington Racecourse.
Saturday 10th November 2018
Race 7: 4.10pm (AEST),
1200 meters, WFA
4X151 1. REDZEL (8), J: KERRIN MCEVOY, W: 58.5 KGS, 4.80
33281 2. BRAVE SMASH (10), J: CRAIG WILLIAMS, W: 58.5 KGS, 13.00
11516 3. SANTA ANA LANE (5), J: MARK ZAHRA, W: 58.5 KGS, 9.50
1X00X 4. REDKIRK WARRIOR (11), J: REGAN BAYLISS, W: 58.5 KGS, 11.00
11X10 5. JUNGLE CAT (2), J: WILLIAM BUICK, W: 58.5 KGS, 12.00
X1291 6. PIERATA (3), J: TOMMY BERRY, W: 58.5 KGS, 5.00
24243 7. KEMENTARI (9), J: GLYN SCHOFIELD, W: 58.5 KGS, 7.00
86322 8. SPIRIT OF VALOR (12), J: WAYNE LORDAN, W: 58.5 KGS, 9.50
20000 9. INTELLIGENCE CROSS (4), J: DAMIAN LANE, W: 58.5 KGS, 151.00
91X90 10. U S NAVY FLAG (13), J: RYAN MOORE, W: 58 KGS, 11.00
13099 11. FLEET REVIEW (6), J: JAMES MCDONALD, W: 58 KGS, 51.00
39X37 12. IN HER TIME (7), J: COREY BROWN, W: 56.5 KGS, 11.00
61X34 13. SPRIGHT (14), J: DAMIEN OLIVER, W: 56.5 KGS, 34.00
X3275 14. INVINCIBLE STAR (1), J: STEPHEN BASTER, W: 56.5 KGS, 26.00
Form and Predictions
It’s the final day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, with two Group 1’s up for grabs. The VRC Sprint Classic (previously called the Darley Classic) features five overseas visitors; four from Ireland and one from England. They take on some of the best Australian sprinting talent for a shot at a cool million dollars.
Some of these horses have met previously during the Australian Spring, through such races as The Everest and Manikato Stakes. There are notable differences across those two races and this one including the track type, track conditions on the day, and the weight carried.
Randwick was a Heavy 9 on the day of The Everest. The Manikato was held at night on a tight turning Moonee Valley course, while Flemington presents its own unique challenge of the ‘straight six’, the 1200m chute which is essentially a straight drag race right down to the finish line.
The top four saddlecloths belong to the quartet of premier sprinters in the land. Redzel has won the rich Everest sprint two years running, Brave Smash won the Manikato three weeks ago, and Santa Ana Lane has won three Group 1 sprints in the space of a year. Redkirk Warrior is a Flemington specialist having won over the distance twice before in Group 1 races. He didn’t fare so well when he went to the UK during the summer, but he’s a much better horse than that.
Jungle Cat who won at his first appearance in Australia some weeks ago must be considered a good chance, but this will be his final race as his focus then turns to the breeding barn. US Navy Flag and Spirit Of Valor must also be considered dangerous chances on a straight run sprint.
There should be no excuses for blocked runs, as there is no such thing as a bad barrier draw from the 1200m chute. Horses either head left toward the running rail or go right, down the grandstand side.
Pierata showed enough in winning the consolation Sydney Stakes on Everest Day that sprinting is his game, not running a mile, while my pick is the frustratingly consistent Kementari. I would love to see him add to his meagre Group 1 collection, which currently stands at one.
Down the bottom of the draw are the three mares: In Her Time, Spright and Invincible Star. All quite capable of running a place, though I would hesitate in declaring either of the three a winning chance, given the quality of the field.
Hopefully the weather returns to the sunny conditions experienced a week ago on Derby Day, rather than the wet weather nightmare that was Cup Day.
Betting Gods Picks
Kementari – 1pt win @ 7.00 Bet365
Jungle Cat – 0.5pt each way @ 15.00 Bet365, Unibet
US Navy Flag – 0.5pt each way @ 14.00 Bet365, PaddyPower
Video Reference Guide
2018 The Everest (Redzel)
2018 Sydney Stakes (Pierata)
2018 Manikato Stakes (Brave Smash, Spirit Of Valor)
Odds Correct at Time of Publication