The first of the support acts on the All Aged Stakes Day program in Sydney this weekend is the Frank Packer Plate 2015 for three-year-olds.
The Royal Randwick showdown runs as Race 2 on Saturday with a jump time of 1:10pm (AEST), a field of 10 engaged for this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate (2000m).
It is a tight betting battle at Ladbrokes.com.au between the top two in the Frank Packer Plate field this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, the narrow favourite being Hi World ($3.10).
Drawn in barrier nine with Kerrin McEvoy to ride, Peter Moody’s High Chaparral colt has won three of his six starts to date and is well liked to make it a quartet of wins this weekend.
He made his Randwick debut last time out on April 6 on a Heavy (9) track and posted his second mile win in the wet on the trot taking out the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m), an effort he’ll be out to repeat here on firmer ground over more distance.
His main danger is the Steven Arnold-ridden Merion who occupies the second line of Frank Packer Plate betting at $3.40 after a gun barrier three draw for Michael Moroney’s son of O’Reilly.
The gelding is also a three-time winner but has had 10 previous runs, his latest producing a third behind subsequent ATC Derby runner-up Hauraki in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) over this distance at Rosehill on March 28.
Outside the dominant Frank Packer Plate duo the field and markets feature another two under $10 for the win with Farolitos ($4.60) and Wine Tales ($6) drawn side-by-side in barriers six and seven respectively.
One of two John O’Shea-trained chances representing Godolphin in the race, Medaglia D’Oro colt Farolitos has Hugh Bowman in the saddle replacing James McDonald.
His latest run was, like Hi World, in the Carbine Club Stakes on a mud track when a brave second behind his fellow Saturday rival over the extra 400 metres that he sees for the first time.
Wine Tales meanwhile is the best fancied filly and runs in the Frank Packer as a ‘Plan B’ after trainer Chris Waller withdrew the daughter of Tale Of The Cat from the ATC Oaks line-up last weekend.
It’s an easier field here over less distance than the Group 1, but Wine Tales will need to be improving on her distant sixth to Candelara over this track and distance in the Group 2 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) from earlier in the month to feature in the finish.
O’Shea’s second runner Gouldian in barrier five gets the services of in-form hoop James McDonald, the $15 shot out to atone for his disappointing 12th in the Tulloch Stakes last start.
Also of note in the field and all at a current quote of $21 to score an upset Frank Packer Plate result are the rails-drawn Blademeister ($21) for Peter & Paul Snowden, Gai Waterhouse’s impressive winner over 2100m at Gosford earlier in the month Another Al ($21) in gate two and the Bart & James Cummings-trained High Midnight ($21) having just his fourth career start on the back of a Tulloch Stakes failure (10th).
See below for the full Frank Packer Plate 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and Fixed Win odds courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% markets on both Group 1s in Sydney on Saturday!