Australia: Undefeated Tapit Gelding Love Tap Favored In Friday’s Spring Champion Stakes

An undefeated son of American super-sire Tapit, for whom owners have just rejected a multi-million dollar offer, is favorite for this Friday night’s Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick. The Group 1 contest, at 1 1/4 miles for newly-turned 3-year-olds, spearheads a program that will be the subject of a lucrative new wager: a Pick-7 with a $10,000 guaranteed pool. The Pick-7 will operate on one Australian card each night, with a 100% carryover if not hit. Given the full fields that make the Aussie product so appealing, a 20-cent minimum will allow for more combinations and flexibility when framing tickets.

While the new Pick 7 wager promises a lucrative reward, there are no prizes for guessing the color of Love Tap, who has been stamped by his record-setting sire and traces back on his dam’s side to another famous American gray, Holy Bull, just to guarantee the coat color. A multi-million dollar offer is never to be sneezed at – especially for a gelding – but Love Tap’s ownership group explained that they “didn’t buy the horse as an investment strategy; rather as a lifestyle choice and are living the dream.”

Love Tap (3-1) has risen rapidly through the ranks, convincingly winning the traditional prep race to the Spring Champion Stakes at just his fourth start. However, this intriguing renewal of the Spring Champion includes horses arriving by decidedly unconventional paths. Only two fillies have won the race in its 48 runnings, but they happen to have been in the past four years and Montefilia (3-1) is hoping to capitalize on this recent trend. A mere one week after an upset score in a Group 1 for 3-year-old fillies, Montefilia is not only taking on her male counterparts but has joined Love Tap atop the market after drawing a friendlier post position (1 versus 14).

Another difficult formline to assess is that of Cherry Tortoni (6-1), a Melbourne-based gelding who was redirected to Sydney this weekend because of more favorable weather conditions. The late pivot is appropriate from a breeding standpoint, as Cherry Tortoni’s dam is a ½-sister to one of Australia’s grandest stayers, Tie The Knot, who counted the 1997 Spring Champion Stakes among his 13 Group One wins.

The Spring Champion Stakes is the 7th of nine races at Royal Randwick and the new Pick 7 wager spans races 3-9 at Randwick this Friday night. Here are some attractively priced horses to consider including in your Pick 7:

Race 3 #6 Oakfield Missile (50-1) – Won her only two starts last campaign on firm tracks, including off a similar layoff at this distance. Has a “trial” win coming into this race, mirroring her build-up to the last score off a layoff. Has a blowout chance.

Race 4 #8 She’s Ideel (5-1) – Drawn awkwardly but ready to peak. Won at this track and distance in corresponding start (4th race) of previous campaign. This is the same distance as the Spring Champion Stakes, a race her sire won in 2012.

Race 5 #6 Acrophobic (11-1) – A work in progress, but has shown glimpses of potential. His accomplished Randwick-based trainer has experimented with different riding tactics and now applies a tongue tie. It’s encouraging that top jockey James McDonald sticks.

Race 6 #3 Dawn Passage (5-1) – Excellent record when fresh and looks primed after some good recent “trials” (training races).

Race 7 #8 Albarado (30-1) – American racing fans still reveling in Swiss Skydiver’s thrilling Preakness triumph – and who loved the decisive mid-race move by the filly’s rider – might feel inclined to include this longshot! Robby’s equine namesake does have a 2nd-place finish behind the aforementioned Cherry Tortoni, and his sire won the Spring Champion in 2004.

Race 8 #3 Asiago (9/1) and #13 Nudge (11-1) – The two female jockeys in this race, Rachel King and Kathy O’Hara, can take a hand in the finish: #3 Asiago was unlucky last start behind #5 All Saints’ Eve, whom she had previously defeated (in one of two G3 wins that Asiago boasts at this distance on firm tracks – the same conditions as this race). Asiago is drawn better and is longer odds. Leading trainer Chris Waller adds blinkers to #13 Nudge.

Race 9 #10 Hulk (9-1) – Poor win percentage, but did get his picture taken last start after being plagued by a series of “heavy” tracks. Had some noteworthy minor placings as a maiden, including in a Listed race at Randwick this time last year. Has excellent connections in his corner.

The Pick 7 wager is available via all major ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpiresXpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWagerHPIbetAmWager, and BetAmerica. The Randwick card will be broadcast live on TVG this Friday night (First Post: 10:10pm ET / 7:10pm PT) alongside cards from Doomben, Kembla Grange and Gold Coast. All races will also be live-streamed in HD with past performances available for free at and major ADW platforms.

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Michael Wrona has called races in six countries. Michael’s vast U.S. experience includes; race calling at Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park, Arlington and Santa Anita, calling the 2000 Preakness on a national radio network and the 2016 Breeders’ Cup on the International simulcast network. Michael also performed a race call voiceover for a Seinfeld episode called The Subway.

The post Australia: Undefeated Tapit Gelding Love Tap Favored In Friday’s Spring Champion Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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