Chipping Norton Stakes Tips – Fierce finish for Randwick G1
Looking for Chipping Norton Stakes Tips? Our form expert previews the Randwick feature and gives his top selection for the race.
CHIPPING NORTON STAKES PREVIEW
Some strong form lines heading into Saturday’s Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick, but one stands out above the rest.
Other than Danceteria, Homesman, Carif and Djukon who are first-up, most of the other 10 runners come through the CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and Apollo Stakes (1400m), while Te Akau Shark comes through the BCD GRP Sprint (1400m) in New Zealand.
The Apollo Stakes rated quite low this year with Dreamforce finishing runner-up to Alizee and going 2.6 lengths quicker than standard BM.
Of the Apollo Stakes runners, Dreamforce was the most impressive from Happy Clapper and Verry Elleegant, but either of those could have made more improvement that the other since that run.
Of the first-up brigade, Homesman is the only one I can see running a bold race.
He has posted strong figures in his last two first-up wins, and he went 11.4 lengths above BM when winning the Feehan Stakes (1600m) at The Valley.
He’s had all bar one of his Australian starts at The Valley and Caulfield, and seeing he’s never raced the Sydney way of going on a big open track like Randwick, I think others are better suited.
THE LEADING CONTENDERS
The CF Orr Stakes rated highest with Fierce Impact going 9.7 lengths quicker than BM while Avilius was 1.2 lengths further back.
Avilius has lowered his BM performance by around three lengths in all three second-up runs since coming to Australia.
Fierce Impact on the other hand has improved his BM performance by between five and seven lengths in his last two campaigns.
Last preparation he resumed with a 2nd placing behind Kolding in the Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) and went 8.4 lengths quicker than BM.
Second-up he went to Caulfield and rated extremely high when winning the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and going 15.1 lengths better than BM.
I love the way he hit the line first-up in the CF Orr Stakes behind Alabama Express while beating home Kings Will Dream who has franked the form by narrowly missing in the Peter Young Stakes (1800m).
Fierce Impact has since trialled over 1250m at Hawkesbury and ambled up to take the lead before holding on from Ilwendo who was pushed out to give chase.
THE MAIN DANGER
Kiwi galloper Te Akau Shark is hardest to line up here following his first-up run, but he must be respected.
He ran quick time (1:21.70) on Soft ground and was runner-up to Dreamforce and Kolding in two runs at Randwick last campaign.
Having drawn barrier 13 is a big detractor for this horse who’s main aims are likely to be the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Surely the stable won’t want him to have a gut-buster, and I can see him going back from the wide drawn and winding up down the outside late.
If things work out his way, he may be too good form them, but I think he’ll struggle to bridge the gap on Fierce Impact who is likely to be challenging on the bend.
CHIPPING NORTON STAKES VERDICT & BEST BET
Bookmakers have Avilius ($6) shorter than Fierce Impact ($8) and I think this is wrong.
Avilius hasn’t previously improved second-up while Fierce Impact does by a big margin, and Fierce Impact already beat Avilius home first-up.
Fierce Impact was also a bit tardy away in the CF Orr and was driven hard to make up three lengths and take a forward spot.
That petrol he used early would have softened him a bit late, while Avilius was settled early and saved everything for the final sprint.
Both horses have a good record at Randwick, and both have three wins and a placing from five starts at the trip.
I think they both settle three to four pairs back and enjoy the run of the race, but I think Fierce Impact will be hitting the line better and he’s my top pick for the race.
2020 Chipping Norton Stakes Tips:
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