NSW Winners pro-punter Mark Rhoden previews the Group 1 Galaxy, set to be run and won at Rosehill on Saturday.
Group 1 Galaxy (1100m)
Handicap, three-year-olds and up
Prize Money: $700,000
Speed: Nature Strip will lead, followed by a group of Ball Of Muscle, Jungle Edge and Redzel on the pace. Graff should push up with Easy Eddie behind. Everything else will be midfield or beyond.
#1 Redzel (Peter & Paul Snowden / Kerrin McEvoy)
Barrier 6, 59.5kg
Fast pace and soft track definitely suits. The weight is a worry, but if he was at his best that alone certainly wouldn’t stop him. The market is assuming he’s at his best but I think he’ll be set for the TJ Smith, so I wouldn’t want to be on him as favourite. If he’s at his best here he’ll win, but the Snowdens are smart and I think they’ll have the TJ picked out.
#2 Ball Of Muscle (Joseph Pride / Glyn Schofield)
Barrier 7, 56kg
Eight years old now but has been in great form over his last couple of preps. He’s better on dry though, which might be enough to rule him out here.
#3 Pierata (Gregory Hickman / Tommy Berry)
Barrier 8, 56kg
Interesting that he’s down in distance off 1300 metres last time. The fast pace and the soft track will suit him. He’ll get a fair way back but if he’s on his game he can win.
#4 Nature Strip (Chris Waller / James McDonald)
Barrier 10, 55kg
Can be his own worst enemy. Unknown on a track this wet but Nicconis are generally good on the soft, so we’ll give him a tick on that for now. Clearly they want him to settle better – that’s where he lets himself down. He won a trial the other day and he didn’t settle in that, but he ran a good time and was very strong. So that’ll be the question. The best Nature Strip would win this with 55kg, but it’s all up to him. It’s up to you if you take the risk!
#5 Jungle Edge (Mick Bell / James Winks)
Barrier 3, 53kg
He’ll relish the conditions and is sure to run well, so if others aren’t at their best if could well steal something on them.
#6 Graff (Kris Lees / Brenton Avdulla)
Barrier 2, 52kg
I quite like him at 52kg. He looked to have his chance in the Newmarket but he was still only beaten a length in what was a very strong race. He ran well. From barrier 2 he’ll tag along behind the speed and he’s handled soft tracks before. I think he’s a good lightweight chance.
#7 Kaepernick (John O’Shea / Kathy O’Hara)
Barrier 9, 52kg
Gets back and runs on. Don’t know him too well in the wet and he’s probably a bit short of the mark at Group 1 level.
#8 Viridine (James Cummings / Tim Clark)
Barrier 4, 52kg
Excellent run first-up. My only question mark is the heavy track… there’s nothing in the breeding to indicate he’ll handle it. He’s gone okay on soft tracks before, but it looks to be heavy and that’s an unknown. He’s a player if it improves.
#9 I Am Excited (David Pfieffer / Corey Brown)
Barrier 5, 51kg
Big weight drop. Soft track is no problems. It’s really just a question of class.
#10 Encryption (James Cummings / Craig Williams)
Barrier 11, 51kg
Wasn’t a bad run in the Newmarket and was second in the Oakleigh Plate before that. He’s a good wet breed. He probably peaked at Caulfield however, and will get a long way back from the barrier.
#11 Easy Eddie (Joseph Pride / Robbie Dolan)
Barrier 12, 51kg
Has had a really good couple of preps and did the job last week on a wet track. It’s a massive step up in grade, but he’s a possible place chance.
#12 Tribal Wisdom (Michael Moroney / Jay Ford)
Barrier 1, 51kg
First-up for a year on a wet track in a Group 1. Would be some sort of training effort.
#13 Baller (Anthony Cummings / Andrew Adkins)
Barrier 13, 50kg
You can actually get 50-1 here, which interests me. I’ve got him well shorter than that and if he’d drawn better I’d have him even shorter. It’s a big ask for him to win at this stage of his career, but he could’ve won last start if he’d had any sort of luck at all. He’s got a lot of ability and has been trained purely as a sprinter this time. Big place chance and he’s not the worst 50-1 chance I’ve seen.
I’ve got Graff on top at the moment, from Nature Strip and Viridine. A small something on Baller looks a reasonable bet to me as well.
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