It is a sensational weekend of top betting opportunities for punters coming up with the AFL Grand Final rematch, the NRL Grand Final and two elite days of racing including the Melbourne Cup Preview Day at Flemington on Sunday.
As part of the action at the Flemington meeting, a 14-horse field will take to the track to contest the $250,000 Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) lead by crack sprinter and hot favourite Hay List.
John McNair’s Statue Of Liberty gelding Hay List has risen from relative anonymity this spring to the superstar sprinter of the season following its three consecutive wins including his emphatic victory in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
In such brilliant form, Hay List (barrier nine) is without doubt the horse to beat in the Gilgai Stakes and Sportsbet have the five-year-old at the very short price of $1.65 to win.
The surprise inclusion of Hay List in the Gilgai Stakes field is due to connections wanting to familiarise him with the notorious ‘Straight Six’ track at Flemington ahead of his main spring target of the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic on November 6 during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The only other horse on Sunday at single figure odds is $5.50 chance Catapulted, drawn directly on the inside of Hay List in barrier eight.
The Mark Kavanagh-trained Catapulted took out the QTC Cup back in June and is backing up from a second place finish to Hay List in the McEwen Stakes making them an excellent Each Way chance.
Betting has been dominated by Hay List and Catapulted, but money is also starting to come in for a number of other contenders including Kavanagh’s other starter Bank Robber now at $13 and Peter Moody’s Testa Rossa Stakes winning mare Avenue paying $15 at Sportsbet.
Other notable Gilgai Stakes runners including former Australian Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler (barrier four) returning to racing following injury, multiple Group 1 winner Sniper’s Bullet a $26 chance after drawing poorly with barrier 13 and Macau galloper Good Control making its Australian debut and drawn ideally on the rails.
The 2010 Gilgai Stakes is the eighth race on the Flemington card for Sunday, which is highlighted by the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) featuring a star studded field including 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking and Shoot Out.
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2010 Gilgai Stakes Final Field, Barrier Draw & Odds
|1||WEEKEND HUSSLER||Ross McDonald||Glen Boss||4||58||17.00|
|2||SNIPER’S BULLET||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||13||58||26.00|
|3||SWICK (NZ)||Bart Cummings||James Winks||5||57||31.00|
|4||HAY LIST||John McNair||Glyn Schofield||9||57||1.65|
|5||ROSTOVA||Steve Richards||Steven King||7||56||31.00|
|6||GOOD CONTROL||Patrick Lee||Steven Arnold||1||56||41.00|
|7||BANK ROBBER||Mark Kavanagh||Corey Brown||3||56||13.00|
|8||CATAPULTED||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||8||56||5.50|
|9||CHASM||Heath Conners||Brad Rawiller||2||56||51.00|
|10||BELTROIS||Robbie Griffiths||Nicholas Hall||14||55.5||61.00|
|11||PERTURBO||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Ben Melham||11||55||41.00|
|12||TRADER||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||6||55||26.00|
|13||UXORIOUS||Matthew Williams||Craig Williams||10||55||26.00|
|14||AVENUE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||12||54.5||15.00|
*Odds correct at time of publication – check Ladbrokes.com.au for updates