$15,000,000 prize money is up for grabs when 12 runners thunder through the 1200-metre circuit at Randwick.
The BetDeluxe team has run its eyes over every runner of the race to determine who will finish where and, most importantly, who will win!
#1 Nature Strip
The highest-rated sprinter in the world draws barrier 10 and will scorch across from the outside gate to set a hectic tempo out in front.
Has been aimed at this race since last year and is ready to peak.
Only query will be how he deals with the last 150 metres of the race when he is running on near empty.
Odds: $3.9 the win
Finishing position: Third
#2 classique legend
The defending champion.
Classique Legend will race in the Everest first-up, which is a massive ask.
He failed at his effort in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint as a $3.75 elect in December last year and has not raced since.
Has had three trials to get ready for the run, but it’s hard to tip him without race fitness.
Odds: $3.1 the win
Finishing position: Fifth
Got the better of Nature Strip in a war of attrition after a gem of a ride by Nash Rawiller.
He will press forward, sit at the girth of Nature Strip again and stoush it out.
But like the toppy, his last 150 metres will be the vulnerable part of the race.
Has to be a winning chance, but he has started longer than Nature Strip in every start they have gone to head.
Top five chance, but no value.
Odds: $5 the win and $2 the place
Finishing position: Fourth
Gordon Richards & Damien Moyle
Gytrash might have just defeated Nature Strip and Eduardo first-up if Jason Collett had not attempted to pierce through a needle-eye gap.
He was charging through the line in The Shorts and is going to appreciate any wet weather that is around.
Collett will perch him midfield on the rails, wait for the gaps to appear and burst through with this sprinter’s Group 1 winning turn-of-foot.
He is as honest as the day is long and rarely runs a bad race.
Odds: $6.5 the win and $2.4 the place
Finishing position: Second
Should have finished much closer in the Moir Stakes (1000m) after running up back sides for the entire straight at Moonee Valley.
He ran a cracker in this race last year, but he is now getting long in the tooth.
Plenty of others who are going to be sharper than him.
Odds: $26 the win and $6 the place.
Finishing position: Eleventh
#6 Masked Crusader
M, W & J Hawkes
Shades of Chautauqua, just not quite as brilliant.
This sprinter has learnt how to get back, settle and fly home late in his races much like ‘The Grey Flash.’
He might not be as brilliant, but he is a 1200-metre Weight-for-Age Group 1 winner and commands respect.
The only query is his ability to do be at his best on soft/rain-effected going.
Odds: $7.5 the win and $2.6 the place.
Finishing position: Sixth
#7 Wild Ruler
Peter and Paul Snowden
Can never doubt the genius of Peter and Paul Snowden as trainers their ability to set horses up for the grand-final races.
The winner of the 2021 Moir Stakes was well behind Nature Strip last time he went head to head with him.
Big question mark on his wet track with damp weather likely to set in on Randwick.
Barrier probably does not help his chances either.
Odds: $41 the win and $8.5 the place
Finishing position: Tenth
#8 The Inferno
Rocketed home in the Moir Stakes (1000m) only to be nosed out.
Interestingly, his only ever soft track run was a blistering win the in the McEwen Stakes over a month ago.
He will have to handle the Sydney way of going and not too sure his sprint is good enough to be sustained for as long as it needs to be over 1200 metres in such a deep race.
Odds: $20 the win and $5.5 the place
Finishing position: Ninth
Gai Waterhouse & ADrian Bott
Should be $101 and is simply not good enough.
Odds: $51 the win and $10 the place.
Finishing position: Last
#10 Lost and Running
He was a winning machine in lower grade.
Has struggled to make the step up to Group level this preparation being beaten comfortably in his two runs so far.
He would need to improve out of sight to win this.
Odds: $19 the win and $5 the place
Finishing position: Eighth
Loves doing her racing fresh.
Though, much like Classique Legend, it is tough to make a case for her without the race fitness on her side.
Her first-up wins just do not rate good enough to be winning a race like this.
Odds: $26 the win and $6.5 the place
Finishing position: Seventh
#12 Home Affairs
An I Am Invincible three-year-old colt who would be worth millions upon millions should he win this race and win this race he can.
Has so much scope from his first-up run after driving his opponents into the deck with brutal sustained speed to lead all the way and bolt in to win the Heritage Stakes.
Carries the lightweight of 53kgs and draws ideally in barrier six.
Glen Boss will camp two to three lengths behind the leaders, peel off and let loose this sprinter’s explosive change of gears.
Looks well over the odds.
Odds: $9 the win and $3 the place.
Finishing position: First