The Peter Snowden-trained Parables is the clear favourite to take out tomorrow’s $200,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington, the market mover facing a quality field of fellow mares including four from premier Victorian horseman Peter Moody.
The 2011 Let’s Elope Stakes field attracted 16 acceptors, Lonhro four-year-old Parables the well-backed top elect in the odds at Luxbet.
Drawn in gate seven and due to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Group 1 placegetter Parables opened in the Let’s Elope Stakes betting at a quote of $4 but has since shortened into $3.60.
Winner of the Group 2 Surround Stakes at the Let’s Elope Stakes track and distance back in March, Parables resumed with a first-up second to Mid Summer Music in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 13.
Mid Summer Music is also backing up with a run in the Let’s Elope on Saturday, one of four acceptors from Peter Moody, an ace trainer of the fillies and mares having prepared the likes of Australia’s leading racehorse Black Caviar and the now retired Typhoon Tracy.
Oamaru Force six-year-old Mid Summer Music has won four of her five starts including and is out for her third consecutive Group 3 success this weekend with Ben Melham engaged for the ride.
After coming up with the extreme outside barrier 16, however, Mid Summer Music has drifted out from $6 to $7.50 in the Flemington Race 5 betting markets at Luxbet.
“She’ll have to go back to near last from that gate one would presume, but that’s probably not the worst scenario first run at the trip because she’s got a hell of a turn of foot,” Moody said.
“It’ll come down to tempo, her chances.
“If they go very steady early she’s going to find it hard but if they do roll along – it’s a 16-horse field, so you’d think there’d be some sort of speed about – she’ll be very strong late and get every chance to run out the 1400 metres (at her first attempt).”
Mid Summer Music is the best supported of Moody’s continent with her stablemates Do Ra Mi ($13), Willow Creek ($51) and Zelsnitz ($51) all at double figures.
Moody still has a high opinion of his Savabeel four-year-old Do Ra Mi despite the Group 2 winner having failed at her two most recent runs.
After taking out the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 12, Do Ra Mi stepped up to Group 1 company for the first time in the Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill on April 2, finishing a game fifth behind Mirjulisa Lass.
A heavy Randwick track saw her finish over 35 lengths away 13th next-start in the AJC Oaks, before she disappointed again with a first-up 12th behind stablemate Mid Summer Music in the Cockram.
“She disappointed us there, but her work was super going into and it’s been super since,” Moody said of Do Ra Mi, who will be ridden by stable jockey Luke Nolen on Saturday.
“She’s drawn to get a midfield, or just slightly worse, run and I’m hoping the track and distance, which she’s run super at both occasions, will lead to her turning it around.”
Of his $51 chances, Moody said both Willow Creek and Zelsnitz would be considered for retirement if they didn’t show something in the Let’s Elope Stakes.
“Willow Creek’s another mare that continues to please us at home but she hasn’t taken her work to the races for 12 months now and she’s racing for her career tomorrow,” Moody said.
“But she’s in great condition, blinkers back on and she’s always run reasonable at Flemington.
“From the good gate Zelsnitz (barrier four) will race on or about the speed and she’s another that’s doing that everything right at home and has no reason not to run well.
“Her and Willow Creek will either be off to the breeding barn Monday or looking at better races, depending on performance.”
Mid Summer Music is out to become the third mare in the past decade to complete the Cockram Stakes – Let’s Elope Stakes double along with Dea (2005) and Cats Whisker (2009).
The Cockram Stakes has, in fact, produced the eight past Let’s Elope Stakes winners.
Along with winner Mid Summer Music and runner-up Parables, the other Cockram Stakes runners continuing onto the Let’s Elope this weekend are Venus World (4th), Pinker Pinker (5th), Lady Lynette (7th), Do Ra Mi (12th) and former Crown Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse (14th).
Of these, the Greg Eurell-trained Pinker Pinker is rated highest in the Let’s Elope Stakes odds, this year’s AJC Oaks third placegetter paying $8.50 at Luxbet.
Check out the full field and odds for all the Flemington races this Saturday, including the Let’s Elope Stakes, at Australia’s No. 1 online bookmaker Luxbet.