2021 VRC Sprint Classic Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Thu 4th November 2021


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It is quite unfortunate that the final sprinting Group One of the carnival has this sort of field, but the VRC Sprint Classic is still here to be run, and won. There are nine horses running down the glorious Flemington straight, with two three-year-olds backing up after last Saturday’s Coolmore Stud Stakes. 

Looking at the market, Dabble has Nature Strip as the $1.32 favourite, being the clear class horse in the race. Nature Strip established himself as the best sprinter in the world with his win in The Everest, and now faces a much weaker field than the one he beat there. Bella Nipotina is on the next line of betting at $10. 

We have dissected every runner in the field and tried to find some value around the short-priced favourite! Read on below to find out runner by runner preview of the 2021 VRC Sprint Classic along with The Shark’s VRC Sprint Classic best tips. 

1. Nature Strip (2) – $1.32
Jockey – James McDonald
Trainer – Chris Waller

After a dominant win in The Everest, being his second win from three runs this prep, Nature Strip looks extremely hard to stop in this race. He is the best sprinter in the world and this is a Group Three field at best. He has two wins and a second in his three 1200m Flemington runs, he has five wins from seven starts down the straight, and two horses he beat in The Everest have come out and won since then. He is priced the way he is for a reason, meaning you can add him to a multi, or look for value in the place markets or to add to an exacta. 

2. Streets Of Avalon (1) – $31
Jockey – Zac Spain
Trainer – Shane Nichols

After a bit of a freshen, Streets Of Avalon returned in impressive fashion in the Manikato Stakes, finishing 4th behind Jonker. He has finished top three in of 5 of 12 runs at Flemington, has finished in the top three in 7 of 12 runs at the distance, and given he is a Group One winner, albeit over 1400m, he is a step above most of these. 

3. Splintex (5) – $19
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy
Trainer – Mark Newnham

Splintex hasn’t been seen at the races since a narrow 4th in the Gilgai, on Turnbull Stakes Day, but has been nominated for the Hong Kong international races and this is a tune up run for that. He is yet to win when first up but his last two runs have been the Flemington 1200m, winning the first of those, the Bobbie Lewis. That is a step, or three, below this, but Jonker did finish back in the pack there and then came out to win the Manikato. 

4. Samizdat (3) – $91
Jockey – Damian Lane
Trainer – Chris & Michael Gangemi

Was brought over from WA to have a crack at some Victorian Group One races but has disappointed so far. He has had three runs in Melbourne and finished no better than 5th. The saving grace, he has five wins from eight tries at 1200m, but does the WA form stack up to this?

5. September Run (4) – $15
Jockey – Craig Williams
Trainer – Chris Waller

The straight-track specialist was found out last Saturday, finishing 3.7L off the pace over 1100m. That was her first loss in a Flemington 1100m race, and she has had just one finish better than 6th from four runs this prep, indicating she may have lost her edge. She clearly loves the straight, and may benefit from the class of Nature Strip being inserted into the race, but she would need to improve lengths. 

6. Bella Nipotina (6) – $10
Jockey – Jye McNeil
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

What a turn-around it has been for this mare, coming on leaps and bounds under the care of the Maher/Eustace stable. She is yet to miss a place in all six of her runs for the new camp, including two wins. Last time out, she was impressive to nearly catch Jonker in the G1 Manikato Stakes, and she will be one of the main ones coming late for Nature Strip, the only issue is that he will be in a different suburb by the time she, or any other runner, crosses the line. 

7. Swats That (9) – $21
Jockey – Hugh Bowman
Trainer – Leon & Troy Corstens

Swats That actually beat September Run past the post in last Saturday’s Furphy Sprint, beating her by a length over 1100m. She does have good straight track experience and two of her three career wins have come over 1200m, but there are a few going better than her at the moment. 

8. Shaquero (8) – $26
Jockey – Craig Newitt
Trainer – Chris Waller

Shaquero had a very exciting two-year-old campaign but may not have returned in as good of a condition this time around. He failed to fire in two runs against the older horses then was nowhere to be seen in last week’s Coolmore Stud Stakes, won by Home Affairs – who was lengths of Nature Strip in The Everest. 

9. Ranch Hand (7) – $13
Jockey – Brett Prebble
Trainer – Chris Waller

While he was still 3.8 lengths off Home Affairs last Saturday, it was a much more respectable effort than Shaquero’s. Ranch Hand also won down the Flemington straight first up, albeit over just 1100m, but does get the benefit of carrying 53.5kg as a three-year-old. 

Final Word

Ultimately, this is a race to come second behind Nature Strip. The Everest has produced the winner of this race in each of the four years and not only is Nature Strip the best sprinter in the world, he is the only horse out of The Everest that is running here. If you chuck Nature Strip in a multi with Zaaki in the Mackinnon Stakes, you can get $3.17 odds and use a Dabble Rocket Boost, if you have one available, to boost those odds as high as you possibly can.

Given the way the market is, each of the place odds on the other eight horses are more than Nature Strip’s odds to win, which is where the money will be made. When looking at some value for a horse to finish in the top three, there are some good choices, but we have settled on an on-pace runner that is proven at G1 level. Streets Of Avalon looked good first up from a freshen in the Manikato Stakes and will be able to stalk the fast pace set by Nature Strip, and be tough to chase down. Dabble has him at $4.40 to place, and with only nine runners in the race, he just has to finish better than six other horses to feature in the minor placings. We are happy to take those odds. 

Best VRC Sprint Classic Tip: Streets Of Avalon – Place ($4.40)

If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our VRC Sprint Classic page for all your punting needs!

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

Tim is a massive follower of Horse Racing, not only in Australia but around the world. Whether it be the champions of the Spring and Autumn Carnivals or following the form lines throughout winter, Tim always has an eye on everything racing. He attempts to get to every Saturday meet he can, with Turnbull Stakes Day at the home of racing, Flemington, being a stand-out! If you want a tipster that follows all form lines, ratings, conditions and weights, not just favourites, Tim is your guy.