John Thompson’s last-start Chelmsford Stakes winner Trusting has opened as the odds-on favourite to go back-to-back this weekend and win the 2011 Hill Stakes at Rosehill’s George Main Stakes Day meeting.
Trusting was one of nine horses accepted for this year’s $200,000 Group 1 Hill Stakes (2000m), and despite drawing the far outside barrier has been installed at the top of the Luxbet odds for Rosehill Race 4 on Saturday.
Tale Of The Cat five-year-old Trusting broke a two year drought when they held on in a tight result to beat home Group 1 winner My Kingdom Of Fife in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on September 1.
A fortnight ago for that win they were ridden for the first time by ace Singapore-based Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira who has again been engaged for the Hill Stakes 2011 ride.
Hill Stakes betting at Luxbet opened today and Trusting’s last-start performance has them sitting as the $1.95 favourite for Saturday.
The next shortest-priced hopeful is Tullamore at a price of $3 through Luxbet.
Drawn far more favourably in gate four with Nash Rawiller booked for the ride, Tullamore will be out to give their trainer Gai Waterhouse successive Hill Stakes victories following subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Descarado’s win in the race 12 months ago.
A nicely-bred Savabeel gelding, Tullamore was in great form during the winter, their last prep culminating with a tidy win over Glass Harmonium in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Tullamore resumed on September 3 running eighth to Sincero in the Group 3 Tramway Handicap (1400m), which looks tough on paper, but with just three lengths separating them and the winner and the unsuitably short distance it was in fact an ideal first-up run.
The only other Hill Stakes acceptor under $10 in the odds is the Chris Waller-trained Hawk Island ($7), out to improve on their dead last finish in the Chelmsford Stakes.
Waller has two other Hill Stakes representatives this year with spring Cups hopeful Illustrious Blue ($31) due to jump from gate eight with Hugh Bowman aboard and his Sydney Cup winner Stand To Gain in barrier three who is the $101 roughie of the field with the distance still too short for their liking.
While six-year-old Hawk Island was in great form during the autumn running third to $101 upset winner Zavite in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) in March and then a close fourth behind the late Cedarberg in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) before winning the Listed JRA Plate (2000m).
They suffered a fall next start in the Sydney Cup, however, and after three months on the sidelines recovering from the bumps and bruises sustained they Hawk Island has been well-beaten in their two resuming runs.
Waller believes Saturday is the day for Hawk Island to bounce back, however, with the gelding boasting a commanding record over the distance.
From their 11 starts over 2000 metres, Hawk Island has enjoyed seven wins and two placings.
“The distance will suit him,” Waller said.
“His record over 2000 metres is brilliant, he’s third-up and there’s no reason why he can’t fight out the finish.”
Full acceptances, jockeys and barriers for the 2011The Bacardi Hill Stakes can be found in the table below.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest George Main Stakes Day updates and betting tips to be published ahead of Saturday, and in the meantime, get your early bets on at the best odds through Luxbet.
All new customers that sign up with Luxbet today and deposit between $25 and $400 will get their initial stakes matched dollar for dollar as a bonus bet valued up to $400 simply by quoting the promotional code BONUSBET!
2011 Hill Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rtg.|
|1||98563X7X51||TRUSTING||John P Thompson||Joao Moreira||9||59kg||112|
|2||941341FX60||HAWK ISLAND (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||1||59kg||109|
|3||5X95X060X9||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||8||59kg||107|
|4||41X84301X0||STAND TO GAIN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Rod Quinn||3||59kg||103|
|5||12211421X8||TULLAMORE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||4||59kg||101|
|6||48231010X0||BID SPOTTER||Graeme Rogerson||Chris Munce||5||59kg||99|
|7||X1X98860X0||DEALER PRINCIPAL||Anthony Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||2||59kg||98|
|8||257X2X9890||LODGE THE DEEDS||Gwenda Markwell||Corey Brown||7||59kg||94|
|9||X151310X00||MIRJULISA LASS||Gregory Hickman||Tommy Berry||6||56kg||99|