The closing race at Caulfield’s Underwood Stakes Day programme on Saturday is the 2011 How Now Stakes, registered this year as the Sportingbet Sprint Series Stakes Heat 2, where Mark Kavanagh’s great grey Valentine Miss will look to go back-to-back in the mares-only feature.
Due to jump as Caulfield Race 9 at 4:58pm (local time), the $125,000 How Now Stakes (1200m) has drawn a full field of 16 starters with defending champion Valentine Miss suffering an early blow with an awkward barrier 11 draw.
The six-year-old Danetime mare is out to break a 12 month drought as Valentine Miss has failed to win a race since her How Now Stakes success last spring carnival.
She has never been far from the finish, however, her worst run since was being beaten two and a half lengths by How Now Stakes rival Lone Rock in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville back in May.
After a first-up third behind Uxorious in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) in August, Valentine Miss returns to Caulfield on Saturday to defend her How Now crown and is paying $7 at Luxbet to win.
The current Caulfield Race 9 favourite for Saturday is Sister Madly at a firming price of $4.40.
Money has come in for Segenhoe Stud’s recent $1 million purchase, Sister Madly having opened at $5 through Luxbet with the punters picking up on the confidence of trainer John Sadler.
Her barrier trial win over 800 metres at Cranbourne earlier this month didn’t hurt either.
The Redoute’s Choice five-year-old hasn’t been seen since running dead last in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Randwick on April 16.
Sister Madly pulled up lame after that run, but has been recovering ever since and connections are certain she is ready to put in a nice first-up effort on Saturday.
Drawn in gate six with Damien Oliver engaged Sister Madly races at Caulfield for the first time since her close fourth behind Response in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) exactly a year ago.
With a commanding first-up record, three wins from four attempts, Sister Madly certainly has claims but there is another How Now Stakes acceptor the Races.com.au crew are tipping for an upset.
2011 How Now Stakes Tips – Caulfield Race 9 Betting:
- Punters’ Pick: #8 Sister Madly ($4.40 Luxbet)
- Races.com.au Tip: #2 Lone Rock ($5.50 Luxbet)
- Place Bets: #3 Dubleanny & #4 Dysphonia
Lone Rock is second favourite in the How Now Stakes markets and should be favourite in our eyes.
Robert Smerdon’s Fastnet Rock four-year-old is a Group 1 winner over Crystal Lily, Pinwheel and Valentine Miss in The Goodwood, and comes off an excellent upset win beating Bel Sprinter in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington a fortnight ago.
Is in gate eight, which isn’t ideal but which does give options and she won the Bobbie Lewis from 13, rises in the weights but has carried similar well before.
For value along with our tip to win, Lone Rock, the Races.com.au team also like the juicy odds on Mick Price’s Flemington stakes winner Dubleanny ($10) and the Peter Snowden-trained Dysphonia ($19) drawn in two and racing for the first time since taking out the Listed Scone Cup over the mile in May.
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2011 Sportingbet Sprint Series – Heat 2 How Now Stakes Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rtg.|
|1||1X22165X86||AVENUE||Peter G Moody||Michael Walker||3||58.5kg||106|
|2||039X231X51||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||8||58.5kg||109|
|3||2X158111X7||DUBLEANNY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||14||57.5kg||105|
|4||89317X031X||DYSPHONIA||Peter Snowden||James Winks||2||57.5kg||100|
|5||7943244X27||STATUS SYMBOL||Ken Keys||Steven Arnold||12||57.5kg||90|
|6||31X24310X6||GOON SERPENT||David Jolly||Nicholas Hall||13||57.5kg||96|
|7||153X2424X3||VALENTINE MISS||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||11||56.5kg||100|
|8||0X340X1X0X||SISTER MADLY||John Sadler||Damien Oliver||6||56.5kg||101|
|9||67X619271X||AIN’TNOFALLENSTAR||Anthony Freedman||Ben Melham||4||56.5kg||86|
|10||11X566140X||SUBLIMITY||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||7||56.5kg||89|
|11||23X76810X1||BOOKLET||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Dwayne Dunn||16||55.5kg||88|
|12||12125X318X||MISS OCTOPUSSY||Tom Hughes||Danny Nikolic||9||54kg||98|
|13||1127X51464||MYTHICAL SPIRIT||John Smerdon||Steven King||15||54kg||85|
|14||X62302321X||MAYNEDA STRATEGY||Trent Pennuto||Jordan Mallyon (a)||1||54kg||78|
|15||511810X23||ANABAA’S LEGACY (NZ)||Dean Binaisse||Glen Boss||5||54kg||78|
|16||231213X423||MINNIE MAH||Michael Kent||Dean Yendall||10||54kg||72|