The Group One George Main Stakes at Randwick is one of the major lead-up races to the Epsom Handicap.
GEORGE MAIN STAKES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
HISTORY: A weight-for-age race over the famous Randwick mile course, it was first run in 1945. An important lead-up race to next month’s Epsom Handicap
NOTABLE WINNERS: Shannon (1946-47), Kingston Town (1981-82), Emancipation (1983), Vo Rogue (1989), Lonhro (2003) and More Joyous (2010)
* The late TJ Smith is the most successful trainer having won with Tarien (1953), Landy (1957), Count Radiant (1964-65), Regal Rhythm (1967-68), Zephyrus (1969), Hartshill (1975), Imposing (1979) and Kingston Town (1981-82)
* The fastest time for the race is 1min:33.75sec set by Racing To Win in 2006
* Modern-day three-year-olds to win have been Coronation Day (1992), March Hare (1993), Encounter (1997), Dracula (1998), Shogun Lodge (1999) and Viscount (2001)
PATTERN: The three-year-old Panzer Division is taking a quantum leap into Group One racing at only his fourth start but there’s every indication he will force the issue with his light weight. The colt raced in the leading division before his placings in the Up And Coming Stakes and Ming Dynasty Quality. With 50.5kg it will be in his best interests to be near the front again. Laser Hawk, one of the outsiders, can also be expected to press forward. Hawkspur won the Chelmsford Stakes after a positive ride from Jim Cassidy.
FANCIED RUNNERS: Chris Waller has made a habit of having strength in numbers and quality in Randwick mile races. It is no different here with dual Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls, in-form mare Royal Descent and Hawkspur. But Sydney’s best stable can expect genuine opposition from the four-year-old mares Lucia Valentina and Rising Romance with Panzer Division a wildcard.
BEST OF THE OUTSIDERS: Teronado comes down from Brisbane with a reputation that is better than any perceived modesty surrounding a last-start restricted-class win. The four-year-old raced during the Sydney autumn carnival and picked off a Group One placing in the Rosehill Guineas before getting bogged down on a wet track in the ATC Australian Derby.