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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.
- 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.
- 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.
“He’s come back a real man this preparation.”
— Racing.com (@Racing) September 16, 2022
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
— SKY Racing (@SkyRacingAU) September 16, 2022
- 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.
- 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.
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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