Clarry Conners’ consistent Foreplay four-year-old Decision Time has opened at the top of the odds for this Sunday’s 2011 Gilgai Stakes, one of the major Groups showdowns running as part of the Turnbull Stakes Day action.
The $250,000 Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) is scheduled to run as Flemington Race 6 at 1:25pm (local time) on Sunday and has attracted a big final field of 18 sprinters.
Current race favourite in the early Gilgai Stakes 2011 betting odds at our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet is Decision Time at quote of $5.50.
Drawn to perfection in gate six of 18, Decision Time boasts an imposing record of eight wins from 14 starts.
One of last year’s best young juveniles, Decision Time won their opening four race starts before running second in the Todman Stakes (1200m) and then second again, when only half a length away from the late, great Crystal Lily in the 2010 Golden Slipper.
Since then they have won five more black-types including their first-up success in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1100m) on September 3 at Warwick Farm.
Decision Time comes off a gallant last-start fifth behind the likes of Love Conquers All and Albert The Fat in the Group 2 The Shorts (1200m) at Rosehill and looks ready to make their Melbourne race debut in Sunday’s Gilgai Stakes ahead of their grand final aim, the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) on Emirates Stakes Day where they will clash with the queen – Black Caviar.
“That’s one of the reasons for going down there (to Flemington) for the Gilgai,” Conners said.
“The Patinack is his main aim and at least this gives himt he chance to look at the straight.”
Following closely in the 2011 Gilgai Stakes odds are:
- #18 Varenna Miss ($6 Luxbet): Tony Noonan’s classy Redoute’s Choice mare won the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) in Brisbane during the winter before her most recent run when fifth to Yosei in the Group 1 Tattersall’s tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 25; boasts an excellent first-up record with two wins and a third form her three attempts but hasn’t seen Flemington before
- #4 First Command ($6.50 Luxbet): Anthony Freedman-trained Commands six-year-old looked nice when finishing second to Amatheon in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last Saturday, ran a devastatingly close second in this race two years ago from a horror barrier and jumping from seven on Sunday looks a great Place selection
- #6 Shrapnel ($8 Luxbet): Drawn well in barrier three, Mark Kavanagh’s Charge Forward stallion comes off a fifth in the Testa Rossa but look ready to win a nice race, track holds no concerns as they were third to superstar Star Witness in the 2010 Coolmore Stud Stakes here
Longer-priced Gilgai Stakes acceptors that have genuine claims of upsetting the top-fancies include the Peter Snowden-trained Soul who is the only market mover in from $14 to $12, Toowoomba galloper Temple Of Boom ($12) who won the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap down the Flemington straight from out wide back in August and locally-trained Group 1 winning mare Response ($11).
History suggests that the five mares engaged in the Gilgai this year face a tough test with Response, Sistine Angel, Hurtle Myrtle, Curtana and Varenna Miss out to become just the fourth mare since the race was inaugurated in 1984 to win.
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2011 Gilgai Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No.||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||35411X1X15||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||Corey Brown||6||57kg||109|
|2||122136X447||SOUL||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||12||57kg||96|
|3||43068X0369||DANZYLUM||Robbie Griffiths||Luke Currie||18||56.5kg||101|
|4||1634120X52||FIRST COMMAND||Anthony Freedman||Steven King||7||56.5kg||107|
|5||1131X45016||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||James McDonald (a)||10||56.5kg||104|
|6||X513X01X75||SHRAPNEL||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||3||56.5kg||100|
|7||03X74167X8||RESPONSE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Dwayne Dunn||13||56kg||110|
|8||1011140X73||GRAND DUELS||Byron Cozamanis||Brad Rawiller||14||56kg||106|
|9||214721047X||ORBIT EXPRESS||Steve McKinnon||Andrew Mallyon||1||56kg||105|
|10||X12134X1X9||ELUSIVE TOUCH||Shane A Edwards||Steven Arnold||16||56kg||102|
|11||X110X891X7||ROTHERA||Peter G Moody||Craig Newitt||15||55.5kg||104|
|12||943238X400||CHASM||Heath Conners||Jason Benbow||17||55kg||100|
|13||X00023X19X||LARGO LAD||David Hayes||Nicholas Hall||9||55kg||104|
|14||781060X102||KING HOAKS||Allison Bennett||Chris Symons||8||55kg||93|
|15||12156X035X||SISTINE ANGEL||Andrew Noblet||Ms Michelle Payne||11||55kg||97|
|16||25X971518X||HURTLE MYRTLE||Matthew Smith||–||2||54.5kg||104|
|17||4421X117X3||CURTANA||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5||54kg||100|
|18||1X1249115X||VARENNA MISS||Tony Noonan||Craig Williams||4||54kg||105|