On Wednesday the Newcastle Jockey Club will host the first of their two major spring season meetings featuring a double shot of Group racing including the $175,000 Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) where a number of genuine 2011 Caulfield Guineas hopes will face off.
The weight-for-age 2011 Spring Stakes final field drew eight acceptors with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Just The Tonic the early favourite to win at a quote of $2.80 through Luxbet.
Drawn in barrier six with Chris Munce engaged for the ride, Redoute’s Choice gelding Just The Tonic is undefeated from their two career starts to date having won back-to-back races over 1200 metres and 1400 metres at Canterbury and Rosehill last month.
Just The Tonic is nominated for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8, but with Waterhouse yet to confirm an interstate assignment for the progressive youngster, their Caulfield Guineas odds at Luxbet are a generous $41.
In an open Spring Stakes 2011 showdown, three other hopefuls are at single-figure odds to upset the favourite and take out Newcastle Race 6 tomorrow with Rekindled Alliance ($3.20), Darci Be Good ($4.40) and Ambidexter ($4.60)
Due to jump from barrier five with Corey Brown in the mount, the Paul Messara-trained Rekindled Alliance is the best-backed Spring Stakes hopeful for the Caulfield Guineas paying $18 in the futures at Luxbet.
The Redoute’s Choice colt was impressive on debut when winning at Canterbury on August 10 before going down in a close loss to Just The Tonic last-start at Rosehill.
There’s also plenty of love for Darci Be Good in the Spring Stakes betting this year after the Bede Murray-trained colt ran third in the Listed Ming Dynasty Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm on September 3.
Ming Dynasty winner Ambidexter is also set to tackle the Spring Stakes on Wednesday, the Peter Snowden-trained son of Commands out for their third Sydney win on the trot.
“It is an interesting time of spring where horses have to step up and you find out a lot out about them,” Snowden said when speaking of Ambidexter’s chances in the Spring Stakes.
“On face value, Ambidexter had done everything right.
“He is already a Listed winner, and this is the next step.”
Ambidexter is also an outside chance for the 2011 Caulfield Guineas sitting at a quote of $26 in the early Luxbet odds.
Snowden also has Trapunto lining up in the Spring Stakes field, the Domesday colt to have the inside running from barrier one.
Trapunto broke their maiden status last-start over 1550 metres at Canterbury on August 31 so the Spring Stakes distance will suit, but they are rated a $21 outsider in the betting at Luxbet.
See below for the full 2011 Newcastle Spring Stakes field, barriers and jockeys.
2011 Spring Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Newcastle Race 6 – 14/09/2011
|1||11||JUST THE TONIC||Gai Waterhouse||Chris Munce||6||56.5kg||74|
|2||7X21X13||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)||Bede Murray||Glen Boss||4||56.5kg||80|
|3||2811||AMBIDEXTER||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||3||56.5kg||78|
|4||12||REKINDLED ALLIANCE||Paul Messara||Corey Brown||5||56.5kg||72|
|5||591204X565||BOYS ON TOUR||John P Thompson||Timothy Bell (a)||7||56.5kg||73|
|6||8X831||TRAPUNTO||Peter Snowden||Christian Reith||1||56.5kg||63|
|7||04169||TARONGA||Paul Perry||Chris O’Brien||2||56.5kg||60|
|8||47||FORTUNEFIVEHUNDRED||Anthony Cummings||Hugh Bowman||8||56.5kg||–|