He may have been one of the best performing juveniles last season with two Group 1 wins already behind them and he may be prepared by the trainer of the moment Peter Snowden, but the odds on Helmet in the Run To The Rose 2011 betting markets continue to drift out ahead of Saturday’s much-awaited showdown.
A well-bred colt by ace Aussie sire Exceed And Excel from Singspiel mare Accessories, Helmet boasts an imposing record of four wins from five starts including their back-to-back elite level victories in the Group 1 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) as a two-year-old last season.
On Saturday Helmet will be saddled up for their three-year-old race debut in the $125,000 Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m), but they will not jump the Rosehill Race 5 favourite.
Run To The Rose betting odds at bookmakers around Australia have continued to drift out on Helmet since markets were released.
After being installed at a quote of $3.50 at our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet, Helmet is now paying a generous $4.
There is plenty in Helmet’s favour suggesting they will make a nice value Run To The Rose bet including their ideal barrier three of eight draw.
However punters have switched onto the fact that Helmet has been allocated the hefty top-weight of the race with 59kg, a weight they are yet to carry.
There is also the admission from his trainer that despite having twice run and won over the Run To The Rose distance of 1200 metres, Helmet may lack the speed they displayed early in their juvenile preparation.
Snowden is far from confident heading into Saturday’s race, the popular horseman also wary of whether Helmet will lose ground by veering out in the running as he has done on a number of occasions in the past.
Helmet showed promise that he had matured up with a straight-running trial at Warwick Farm to finish fourth behind Secret Admirer at Warwick Farm on August 11.
“Look, he’s had a trial and went dead straight,” Snowden said.
“There’s nothing he does at home that suggests he’s going to do anything risky.”
Snowden also said that jockey Kerrin McEvoy, aboard for Helmet’s four straight autumn wins, had enough experience on the horse to know how to best ride him which would likely be without using the whip.
“The only thing it comes down to is the whip,” Snowden explained.
“Twice he was given a cut with it and twice he hated it.
“I won’t be giving Kerrin any instruction on Saturday, he knows the horse.
“But I can tell you one thing, he’ll be riding him hands and heels.
“The horse always tries his best.
“He won’t have to be hit with the whip to do his best.”
So if not a dual Group 1 champion, then who are the punters backing to become this year’s Run To the Rose winner?
Cummings’ Fastnet Rock colt Smart Missile is exploding with untapped talent and is the Run To The Rose market firmer in from $1.90 to $1.80 at Luxbet.
Despite coming up with the far outside barrier for Saturday’s showdown, Smart Missile will jump odds-on favourite to kick off their three-year-old season with a big win.
Smart Missile is undefeated with two wins from as many starts to date, both at stakes level, including their boilover win over subsequent Golden Slipper winner Sepoy in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) back in March.
“He beat Sepoy fair and square,” Snowden said of Helmet’s Run To The Rose rival Smart Missile.
“But whether he can beat him again fair and square, well, we’ll wait and see.”
By all reports Smart Missile has come back stronger and more focused than last prep, as displayed by their winning barrier trial at Randwick earlier this month.
Of course, the Run To The Rose is just the appetiser for the big Sydney Spring Racing Carnival showdown, the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) to run on September 10.
Golden Rose 2011 futures betting is already open with Smart Missile the $3.40 favourite followed by Helmet at $6.
A first-up upset by Helmet on Saturday, however, and there will be a new favourite in the Golden Rose odds.
And Snowden is a patient man, happy to wait until the real grand final for Helmet – the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8.
“It might look like a grand final because it’s an exciting-looking clash, but this race is a long way off Helmet’s grand final,” Snowden said.
“He’ll run a good race because he’s a pretty smart colt, but his grand final is the Caulfield Guienas.”
The only other Run To The Rose hopeful at single-figure odds for Saturday is the John O’Shea-trained Foxwedge who has remained steady at their opening quote of $3.80.
For punters seeking a little more value or looking for a double-figure outsider to include in their Rosehill exotics for Saturday at Luxbet good picks look to be Neville Layt’s Magic Millions winning filly Karuta Queen ($11) and the John Thompson-trained Boys On Tour ($35).
See below for the latest Run To The Rose odds.
For updates and to get in on the spring betting action, head to Luxbet and open an account with the online bookie offering all new customers a Bonus Bet valued up to $400 when you deposit and quote BONUSBET!
2011 Run To The Rose Odds
Rosehill Race 5 – 27/08/2011 – 2:45pm
|2||Smart Missile (8)||1.80|
|4||Diamond To Pegasus (5)||61.00|
|5||Boys On Tour (2)||35.00|
|6||Flight Of Pegasus (4)||21.00|
|8||Karuta Queen (6)||11.00|
*Odds are Fixed Win from Luxbet and subject to change