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Ladbrokes Blog: 2023 Festival Stakes Day Preview

3 minute read

Rosehill plays host to Sydney's major metro meeting this Saturday with the Group 3 Festival Stakes headlining the 10-race program.  

DAJRAAN winning the Festival Stakes at Rosehill in Australia.
DAJRAAN winning the Festival Stakes at Rosehill in Australia. Picture: Steve Hart

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The rail is in the true position, the track is currently rated a Soft 7 at publish, while there could be a few showers about on race day. 

For our best bets, check out our 2023 Festival Stakes Day Preview here! 

RACE 1 - 11:20AM: Kia Ora Prague Handicap (1100 METRES)

Canara should take improvement away from her debut effort over the track and distance a few weeks ago.  

Chris Waller's mare ran on late for second down the outside, an eye-catching performance despite looking a little greey and wayward down the outside. 

She probably would have gone closer if she hadn't contacted another runner, but I thought she still closed the gap nicely behind all-the-way winner Spywire. 

Drawn a soft gate with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride, she ticks a few of the boxes. 

1 Unit Canara

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 1

RACE 2 - 11:55AM: Midway Handicap (2000 METRES)

Open race, but one Toesonthenose can win in his second look at 2000m. 

John Sargent's gelding gave good chase two back in the Four Pillars over much shorter, before stepping out over the mile at Newcastle where he was a dominant winner through the line. 

He wasn't far off over this trip at Randwick earlier in the autumn and is no stranger to lugging big weight around. 

1 Unit Toesonthenose

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 2

RACE 3 - 12:30PM: Vale Ray Markey Handicap (1800 METRES)

Unanimous was back in the winner's circle last Saturday when showcasing a nice turn of foot to win over further.  

The Deep Field six-year-old lapped up the heavy conditions, finding clear running at the 200m mark to hold on narrowly right to the line. 

He probably should have won the start prior over the 1800m here at Rosehill, held up badly in the run home under Regan Bayliss. The pair reunite here and the soft track conditions should be up his alley. 

1 Unit Unanimous

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 3

RACE 4 - 1:05PM: Class 2 Highway Handicap (1100 METRES)

You're On Mute is first emergency at time of writing but is a definite winning chance if she earns a spot.  

The unbeaten mare by Cable May put her rivals away with ease a Gundagai two weeks ago, quickening nicely down the outside to race clear and win by over a length. 

She had a lot left to give through the line and gets in carrying no weight on her back with the apprentice claim. From the wide gate, look for her swooping in late. 

1 Unit E/W You're On Mute

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 4

RACE 5 - 1:40PM: Doyle's Breeding And Racing Handicap (1400 METRES)

Hide Your Heart saw her unbeaten streak come to an end at Newcastle two weeks ago when caught wide and bumped in the run home.  

She was an impressive winner of three in a row prior, and although this is a slightly tougher contest, she should be a genuine threat if Koby Jennings can settle closer to the speed from the wide gate. 

Proven in the wet and hard fit, the Sebring mare is capable of making amends. 

1 Unit Hide Your Heart

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 5

RACE 6 - 2:20PM: Country Classic (2000 METRES)

Zegalo has been racing well and tends to improve third-up. 

The seven-year-old by Zoffany found clear air to lead at the 200m mark at Canterbury a fortnight ago, just finding one better when gunned down by the fast-finishing Brynner. 

He'd probably like the rain to really fall, but from a better gate with and the in-form Dylan Gibbons steering, he should be suited getting out over further. 

1 Unit E/W Zegalo

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 6

RACE 7 - 3:00PM: Group 3 James Squire Festival Stakes (1500 METRES)

Rustic Steel finds a nice race coming off a last-start fifth in The Hunter a couple of weeks ago at Newcastle.  

Kris Lees' six-year-old flashed home late down the outside, a big effort after getting right back from the wide gate in just his second run back. 

Third-up, his form reads quite well, and he should be afforded a much handier ride in transit this time from the soft gate. If Sam Clipperton can save him for late, the pair will be right in the finish. 

1 Unit Rustic Steel

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 7

RACE 8 - 3:40PM: Listed Greenlife Starlight Stakes (1100 METRES)

Malkovich flies fresh and has looked in superb order during a couple of recent trials leading in.  

Bjorn Baker's six-year-old doesn't win out of turn, but he has spent time taking on tougher contests this year, most recently a Group 3 Caulfield where he had little go his way in a race that wasn't run to suit. 

Luck has been against him here at Rosehill, but if he can cross and lead in a much easier race, he should be going close. 

1 Unit Malkovich

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 8

RACE 9 - 4:20PM: Listed Christmas Cup (2400 METRES)

Serpentine drops right back in grade coming off a run in the Melbourne Cup last month.  

The Irish raider was quick to lead, weakening badly though in the final stages after over-racing under Jye McNeil. 

He gets back to Sydney now where he's raced well previously, and he should find the soft conditions to his liking providing it isn't too wet. 

1 Unit Serpentine

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 9

RACE 10 - 4:55PM: Buy An Arrowfield Graduate Handicap (1100 METRES)

Really open race with a stack of winning chances.  

Smashing Eagle has been around the mark all prep, winning well here over the track and distance earlier in August with three placings to follow. 

He loves to get back in races and run on, which he should be able to do from the gate. I'm not sure he'll want it too wet, but if the track is somewhere in the soft 5 range, he should be a real threat. 

1 Unit Smashing Eagle

BET NOW: Rosehill Race 10

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