If betting is anything to go by Saturday’s PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield is set to be a two horse war between Mark Kavanagh’s Whobegotyou and the undefeated Peter Moody mare Lights of Heaven.
Whobegotyou has not started since winning the Blamey Stakes at Flemington during the autumn, and the PB Lawrence represents his first step in a campaign that Kavanagh is hoping will deliver his first Cox Plate at his third attempt.
Analysis of his form finds that ‘whobe’ has a habit of finding one better when he first up and when he races over 1400m. The six year old Street Cry gelding has finished second in five out of seven attempts at the 1400m, without being able to secure a win. However some of those runs have been behind stars of the turf More Joyous and So You Think.
He also has a slightly imperfect record when resuming from a spell. In seven first up runs, Whobegotyou has won once and finished second six times. However despite his string of near misses bookies have declared the horse an odds on favourite to take out the PB Lawrence on the weekend.
The only other horse that has opened in single figure odds is 2011 Caulfield Cup favourite Lights of Heaven. Lights of Heaven is undefeated in her four career starts with her most recent win coming in the Group One South Australian Oaks. That form has since been franked by the fact that Absolutley (second in the SA Oaks) went on to win the AJC Oaks, beating home handy staying types such as Shamrocker and Brazilian Pulse.
Lights of Heaven is also resuming from a spell, however Moody is still unsure whether he will target the Cox Plate or the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups with the talented mare.
It should be an interesting battle between the two favourites. Lights of Heaven is the fresh on the scene and will more than likely go forward in the run. Whobegotyou is embarking on his fourth spring campaign, and will settle at the tail of the field in the run.
Ben Melham has been called in to deputise for Luke Nolen aboard Lights of Heaven, while Whobegotyou will renew acquaintances with champion jockey Damian Oliver, he took over riding the horse after owner Lawrence Eales sacked Michael Rodd after Whobegotyou’s third in last year’s Cox Plate.
AJC Oaks winner Absolutely is given some hope at $10.00, although she will have to show massive improvement to turn the tables on Lights of Heaven.
Australian race fans will also get their first chance to see German gelding Budai in action. Budai is trained by David Hayes and has been nominated for the 2011 Caulfield Cup. The six year old is a winner at Group Three and listed level in Europe, and at this stage is currently rated a $31.00 chance in the Lawrence.
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2011 PB Lawrence Stakes Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||0X2133X21X||WHOBEGOTYOU||Mark Kavanagh||Damien Oliver||3||59kg||118|
|2||073X82042X||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||8||59kg||105|
|3||X060010600||JUNGLE RULER||Peter White||Craig Newitt||5||59kg||95|
|4||X426235533||TIME MATTERS||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||7||59kg||98|
|5||313332190X||GUEST WING||Shane A Edwards||Luke Currie||12||59kg||93|
|6||3X3011212X||BUDAI (GER)||David Hayes||Steven Arnold||9||59kg||103|
|7||437243126X||VESPER||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||2||59kg||95|
|8||26X14X680X||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Ms Michelle Payne||10||59kg||87|
|9||212X2X3X31||PRINCE OBAMA||Jason Clifford||Dean Yendall||11||59kg||76|
|10||68727X0129||CELLARMASTER (NZ)||Patrick Payne||Michael Rodd||6||58.5kg||82|
|11||22X63321X||ABSOLUTELY||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||4||56.5kg||105|
|12||1111X||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||1||56.5kg||103|