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2022 George Main Stakes Runner By Runner Preview & Tips

Named in honour of former AJC chairman and horse breeder, George Main, the George Main Stakes is a 1600m Group 1 contest, held at Royal Randwick Racecourse. The $1m weight-for-age contest has long been a staple on the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival calendar, and habitually attracts a strong field.

Kingston Town, Vo Rogue, Lonhro and More Joyous are some notable names etched into the race’s history book, alongside champion mare, Winx, who won the race three years on the trot from 2016-18. She also holds the race record in a lightning fast 1:33.65 for the Randwick mile. Last year’s George Main was taken out by Verry Elleegant, who went on to win the Group 1 Melbourne Cup three starts later.

Following an impressive first up win, Godolphin star, Anamoe, has come up a short priced favourite in this year’s George Main. Dabble is currently offering $2.10 for him to take out the race, ahead of All Star Mile winner, Zaaki, at $3.10. Fangirl is the only other runner under double figures at this stage at $9.00.

However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen and both favourites go into this second up. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 George Main Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips. 

  1. Zaaki (7)

Jockey – Tommy Berry 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Rolled to the front and was too good first up despite the unsuitable conditions. Will be sent forward again here to make his own luck on speed, and although McDonald has decided to stick with Anamoe, he looks very hard to beat. Only query may be how much the first up run took out of him on the bottomless track.

  1. Maximal (9)

Jockey – Sam Clipperton 59kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

Found some of his better form last prep when finishing 2nd in the G1 Doomben Cup. Has had the benefit of two trials leading into this, but may find them a bit sharp first up over the mile.

  1. Anamoe (8)
    Jockey – James McDonald 58.5kg
    Trainer – James Cummings

Gave them a galloping lesson first up when winning the G1 Winx Stakes here at Randwick. He’s since been back to the trials and looks to be ticking over nicely leading into this. McDonald sticks, he has a good second up record and will appreciate the step up to the mile now. Hard to knock.

  1. Converge (10)
    Jockey – Tim Clark 58.5kg
    Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Travelled well first up until he was asked to extend on the heavy10 surface. Will appreciate a drier track here and loves the Randwick mile. Will need a bit of luck from the outside gate but if he gets some cover he may be capable of running a much improved race at good odds.

  1. Profondo (2)
    Jockey – Brenton Avdulla 58.5kg
    Trainer – Richard Litt

Loomed up to win first up but couldn’t match it with Anamoe the last furlong, before another good run second up behind Zaaki. He’s another who will appreciate a drier deck and looks to be going well enough to win the race, if there’s a chink in the armour of the favoured runners.

  1. Duais (5)
    Jockey – Joshua Parr 57kg
    Trainer – Edward Cummings

Really cemented herself as a top class stayer last prep, winning the G1 Australian Cup and G1 Tancred Stakes. Resumed this prep in the Memsie behind Snapdancer, and although finished down the track, she ran the fastest last furlong of the race. Might need one more run before finding her best, but looks in for a good preparation and can’t be left out of the multiples.

  1. Montefilia (6)
    Jockey – Jason Collett 57kg
    Trainer – David Payne

Resumes here off the back of two nice trials. Usually takes a run to find her best form, but is a four time G1 winner, including a Flight Stakes victory at this track/distance. Will get back from the middle draw and will be doing her best work late.

  1. Icebath (4)
    Jockey – N/A 57kg
    Trainer – Brad Widdup

Got back and held her ground first up in the Winx Stakes, before a much improved effort last start behind Zaaki. Drawn to get a nice trail behind the speed, and has a good record at the Randwick mile. She doesn’t win out of turn but won’t be far away when the whips are cracking.

  1. Fangirl (3)
    Jockey – Hugh Bowman 56.5kg
    Trainer – Chris Waller

Got a long way back first up in the Winx Stakes and rattled home when the race was over. Has had a quiet trial since to keep her ticking over and Bowman sticks. Will get a soft run from the low draw and only needs the gaps at the right time to be competitive again.

  1. Hinged (1)
    Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy 56.5kg
    Trainer – Chris Waller

Didn’t have much galloping room at a vital stage first up behind Anamoe. Comes into this on a very similar path to stablemate, Fangirl, and is unbeaten from three attempts second up. The mile suits, she gets the blinkers on and from the inside gate should race handy to the speed. Respect.

Final Word

The headlines all week have labelled this year’s George Main Stakes a two horse race; Anamoe v Zaaki. Sydney’s leading hoop, James McDonald, has stuck with Godolphin’s star entire over Zaaki, and with the addition of some other key, in-form runners, it looks like we’re in for a mouthwatering contest. 

It’s hard to go past Anamoe and I have found it near impossible to tip against him here. His first up win in the Winx Stakes was dominant, and he’s had the benefit of another soft trial leading into this. McDonald only has to get cover from the gate and he should be breathing down Zaaki’s neck at the furlong.

Zaaki looks the likely leader on paper and after his brilliant first up win in the G2 Tramway, looks the obvious danger to Anamoe. He should appreciate a drier track and will be hard to conquer in the concluding stages if the first up run hasn’t flattened him.

The Chris Waller trained pair, Fangirl and Hinged, look well suited here second up. They both ran well first up in the Winx Stakes behind Anamoe and have had a trial leading into this. Both have come up with nice soft barriers and will be right in the mix.

Duais is the horse I’ll be keeping an eye on from a futures point of view. Her first up run in the Memsie was better than it appears on paper, where her last 200m was race-fastest. If she finds the line well again here second up she may be worth a ticket in the Turnbull Stakes market.

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3.Anamoe- Win

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2021 George Main Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

The Sydney Spring Carnival officially kicks off this weekend with George Main Stakes Day at Randwick Racecourse. The main event of the day is the G1 1600m feature and we have taken some time to analyse the race, sort through each of the runners and provide our best George Main Stakes tips. 

The final field of 9 horses includes six from the G1 Winx Stakes a month ago, with three of those six having had another run since. Three horses come into this race having contested the G2 1600m Chelmsford, won by Think It Over, while three others have come out of the G2 1400m Tramway.

Eight-time Group One winner Verry Elleegant tops the market at even money, hoping to do one better than her run in the Winx Stakes four weeks ago. She is then followed by Think It Over, who came out of the Winx Stakes and has since won the Chelmsford, beating home two of his rivals for this race. 

Despite the small field, this looks to be a cracking edition of the George Main Stakes! Read on below to find out runner by runner preview of the 2021 edition.

1. Kolding (4) – $8
Jockey – Tim Clark
Trainer – Chris Waller

The defending champion of this race hasn’t been the same this preparation and can’t see how he flips the script with some give in the turf. Has won over this track/distance twice, but has only finished in the top three of a 1600m race once in his last four preps.

2. Think It Over (6) – $4.50
Jockey – Nash Rawiller
Trainer – Kerry Parker

On this day last year Think It Over finished 2nd in a BM88 and is now a Group One winner and comes into this on the back of a Group Two win over this track/distance. He has finished in the top two in all four of his 3rd up runs and has finished in the top two in five of his eight runs on soft tracks. Could he upset Verry Elleegant?

3. Cascadian (9) – $11
Jockey – Hugh Bowman
Trainer – James Cummings

You wouldn’t believe it but last time out Cascadian had another flashy finish for fourth! It is becoming harder and harder to follow him but he has conditions to suit here. Two of his six career wins have been third up, three of his six career wins have been at 1600m and four of his six career wins have been on soft tracks. He won the Doncaster Mile here when third up in Autumn.

4. Star Of The Seas (5) – $21
Jockey – Sam Clipperton
Trainer – Chris Waller

Was disappointing first up in the Winx but then ran well in the G2 1400m Tramway, finishing 2.7L off Zaaki. Is 5:1-1-1 when third up but was 4.45L off in the All Star Mile in Autumn and 11 of 17 in the Epsom Handicap last spring when third up and may not be able to match it with the better chances.

5. Riodini (1) – $17
Jockey – Rachel King
Trainer – G Waterhouse & A Bott

It was an eye-catching performance in the Chelmsford, jumping to the front and almost leading pillar to post. He should lead again here and is 2/2 on soft surfaces but is still yet to win at Randwick, yet to win at 1600m and this race has another level of class to it.

6. Lion’s Roar (8) – $41
Jockey – Regan Bayliss
Trainer – John O’Shea

This four-year-old’s best victory came over the Randwick mile, winning the 2021 Randwick Guineas in the Autumn. He beat Mo’unga home that day, who has come out and beaten most of this field this preparation, but his first up run in the Tramway was ordinary. While he is 2/2 second up, he hasn’t won on a soft surface and will find this too tough.

7. Verry Elleegant (2) – $2
Jockey – James McDonald
Trainer – Chris Waller

The champion mare is back at the races after four weeks off following her 2nd in the Winx Stakes. Verry Elleegant hasn’t lost back to back races in the same prep since the start of her Autumn 2020 prep and gets conditions here to suit perfectly. She thrives second up, has only missed the placings twice from 13 runs on soft and will only get better with the rise in distance. Can you take $2 though?

8. Shout The Bar (3) – $41
Jockey – Kathy O’Hara
Trainer – G Waterhouse & A Bott

Always looks to be a talented mare but has won just one of nine races since the start of last Spring. She has won over 1600m, has won second up and has three wins from five runs on soft tracks, but is she as good as these under WFA conditions?

9. Hungry Heart (7) – $14
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy
Trainer – Chris Waller

Was held up as she was building momentum in the Winx and it cost her a good run, but would she have actually made a splash in the placings? She will continue to get better with the rise in distances, given she has won group races at 1500m, 2000m and 2400m. The worry is that she prefers good tracks and that may cost her against some genuine WFA horses. 

Final Word

Things seem to be lined up perfectly for Verry Elleegant here. She rises in distance, gets a soft track and when looking at the history of this race, eight of the last 11 runnings of the George Main have been won by the favourite. Doubting this talented mare makes the smartest of punters look like a fool, as was seen on Royal Turnbull Stakes Day last Spring when she won on a good track despite many penning her. While she is definitely the horse to beat, we can’t justify dipping in at $2 when there are other live chances in the race. 

Four of the last six winners have come into this race third up, with three of those running in the Winx and then the Chelmsford. That leaves Think It Over and Cascadian, the only two who have had that preparation, as our main chances based on the data presented to us. Think It Over’s finish in the Chelmsford to steal the victory from Riodini was incredible but we are siding with Cascadian at the odds.

The Godolphin camp think very highly of this gelding and we think he will be able to replicate his third up run over this track & distance in Autumn, when winning the G1 Doncaster Mile. He is a bit of an enigma and almost always impossible to catch, but we can’t let him go around $11 in such a small field and given Sportsbet are offering bonus back up to 4th, you should be safe to either win or get a bonus back as a worst case scenario!

Best George Main Stakes Tip: Cascadian – Win ($11)

There is more Group One racing happening this weekend! If you want to check out our Runner-By-Runner analysis of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, click here!

If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our Makybe Diva Stakes page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Sportsbet.