In Her Time looks primed for Syd­ney

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Mar­cus Hersh

The fo­cus Satur­day at Royal Rand­wick falls squarely on the Ever­est, but the 10-race card in­cludes nine other stakes, among them three worth $388,700 each.

Head­lin­ing the un­der­card is the Syd­ney Stakes, which, at six fur­longs, is some­thing of a con­so­la­tion prize for sprint­ers not quite up to Ever­est snuff. Di­rectly pre­ced­ing the Ever­est as race 7, the Syd­ney has a full field of 14 en­trants plus four al­soel­i­gi­bles, but even in that bulky group In Her Time ap­pears to stand out.

In Her Time, a 5-year-old mare, rose from the hand­i­cap ranks to be­come a Group 1-level sprinter dur­ing her 4-year-old cam­paign, and her lone start at age 5 pro­duced a de­ci­sive course-and-dis­tance win in the Pre­miere Stakes last month. Sec­ond in that race was English, who is less than 10-1 to win the Ever­est. With an alert break from a de­cent post in the Syd­ney, In Her Time will take plenty of beat­ing.

Im­pend­ing de­feated In Her Time in the Group 1 Strad­broke last June at Doomben but has a poor draw on the far out­side for the Syd­ney. Bet­ter po­si­tioned in the gate is Take­down, who was fourth be­hind In Her Time in the Pre­miere but has past form to im­prove on that per­for­mance.

Happy Clap­per is the de­serv­ing fa­vorite for the Group 3 Craven Plate over 1 1/4 miles, though the con­nec­tions of 12 horses are will­ing to take him on. Happy Clap­per, the mount of Blake Shinn, has had the mis­for­tune of run­ning against the great Winx in five of his last 15 starts, and two races ago, in the Group 1 Col­gate Op­tic White Stakes over one mile at Rand­wick, he fin­ished sec­ond to her, beaten a re­spectable 1 1/4 lengths. On Sept. 30, Happy Clap­per beat nine foes in the Group 1 Ep­som Hand­i­cap, but that was an­other one-mile race, and if Happy Clap­per’s back­ers have a con­cern, it’s his abil­ity to com­fort­ably stay an­other quar­ter-mile. Sense of Oc­ca­sion looks like the one who could score an up­set.

Long-dis­tance Aussie race­horses don’t abound, but 11 of them are en­tered in the listed St. Leger over 1 5/8 miles, race 6 on the pro­gram. Big Duke is the morn­ing-line fa­vorite, and while his best races last year came on heavy ground, he ex­its a sec­ond­place Group 1 fin­ish over good go­ing at Rand­wick. Big Duke’s first two races this sea­son were at one mile, his third at 1 1/4 miles, and Big Duke ap­pears to need at least 1 1/2 miles for his best. Au­vray, a longer price, won a 1 1/2-mile Group 3 at Rose­hill in his most re­cent start and en­ters this race in the best form of his ca­reer.

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