Group 2 Missile Stakes: Expert preview, top pick and value bets

The $200,000 Group 2 Missile Stakes is run at Randwick Racecourse in early August and is the first Group race on the racing calendar in New South Wales. Run over 1200 metres, the race is often used as a jumping-off point for connections looking to aim their star gallopers at a big spring campaign.

Missile Stakes 2022: Alfie’s preview

Track It’s a Soft 6 early and I’m working on it being in that range.

Speed map The pace is only average here. Prime Candidate will lead, with Embracer and Forbidden Love sitting in behind.

Runner-by-runner

Prices courtesy of TopSport at time of publication.

3 Forbidden Love [$3.10] is a Group 1 winner over 1300m, 1400m and 1500m. She gets a good run in the race and is a deserved favourite.

10 Belluci Babe [$6] has had two trials going into this. She’s a first-up winner and has won over 1200m at Group 3 level. A chance.

1 Count De Rupee [$6] is a five-time winner over this distance. His first-up figures seem to be lower than the rest of prep, so watch the market to see how fit he is.

7 Embracer [$7] is first-up as well. Waterhouse and Bott have their horses quite forward with three trials leading into this race. Will race near the lead.

2 Hilal [$11] probably needs further than this.

5 Gem Song [$12] is one of the few that is fit and is down 4kgs here. He put in a big figure last start, and if he can repeat that he could be a knockout chance.

4 Nimalee [$13] ran second first-up last prep over 1400m in a Group 3. 1200m may be a bit short.

12 Enchanted Heart [$20] almost snuck a win last start, but JMac is off here for Tim Clark. May surprise at a price.

11 Wandabaa [$21] hasn’t been great first-up the last two preps. Will need some luck to win.

9 Prime Candidate [$26] is off the seven-day back up so will be fit. He’ll lead them out. Others will need to be below their best, but if Parr can get a cheap sectional then he may be tough to run down.

8 Hard Empire [$91] and 6 Special Reward [$34] aren’t in this in my opinion.

Betting strategy

Top pick Forbidden Love

Value bets Gem Song, Prime Candidate

Obviously a very tough race with so many first-up and starting their campaign. Forbidden Love will be tough to beat, but if taking the $3 I’ll need to make sure that it gets a tick from the yard. In terms of a value plays, Gem Song and Prime Candidate look good for a small play each at each-way odds.

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