Betting markets have been released for the crack eight-event program running at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse this Saturday including those for the day’s headline race, the 2011 Placid Ark Stakes, where Simon Miller’s Group 2 winning filly Night War is the deserved odds-on favourite.
Winner of the Group 2 Karrkatta Plate (1200m) back in March, a feat that helped see Night War crowned last season’s champion two-year-old, the now three-year-old daughter of General Nediym is fresh off a big two-and-a-half-length victory in the Westspeed 3YO Handicap (1000m) at Ascot on November 12 and ready to add a fourth win to her growing record.
Drawn ideally in barrier four of the eight-horse field for the $80,000 Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m), running as Ascot Race 4 at 2:25pm (local time) on Saturday, Night War has unsurprisingly opened at the top of the markets.
At Luxbet she is the clear favourite at a quote of $1.90, Night War to reunite with her regular rider Patrick Carbery on Saturday having been ridden by Ryan Hill for her resuming run.
Miller is confident Night War is the horse to beat in the Placid Ark on Saturday, the local Ascot-based horseman saying she had come through her last start in excellent form and worked well since.
“She pulled up super following her first up victory, where she wasn’t asked to do a great deal by Ryan (Hill),” Miller said.
“Her work has been up to the mark this week as always and I am expecting her to prove awfully hard to beat on Saturday.”
Following her Listed assignment this weekend, Night War is set to move onto the $125,000 Group 3 Sir Ernest Lee Steere Classic (1400m) on December 10 back at Ascot, a race won last year by Playcidium Mint.
“I purposely didn’t bring her back into work for the Belgravia Stakes and Burgess Queen as I think the 1400 metres will stretch her,” Miller explained.
“By taking this avenue she will get her best chance to win at 1400 metres under the set weights conditions of the Lee Steere.”
Night War is owned by the same connections, Peter Bell and Ray Meadowcroft, as last week’s beaten WA Guineas favourite Ron’s Call.
Having won their four first-up runs for the season, Magic Albert gelding Rons’ Call started the short-priced favourite for the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) but found the heat, crowds and the mile too much failing to come within six lengths of winner King Saul when ninth.
Ron’s Call was subsequently sent to the paddock to recover.
“Unfortunately he melted down on Grand Final day, but on a positive note everything is ok with him now and he is in the paddock for a well-earned rest,” Miller said of Ron’s Call.
Following Night War in the 2011 Placid Ark Stakes odds are three other hopefuls at single-figures with Flying Affair ($4.40), Gracetown ($5.50) and Venetian Prince ($9.50).
The Lindsey Smith-trained Flying Affair is also second-up for the season having run second to King Saul in the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) on October 14.
The smart Heritage filly has the record and class to challenge the favourite on Saturday, but must overcome her wide barrier eight draw to do so.
Saxon gelding Gracetown, from the Keysbrook stables of Jason Pateman, comes off two second place finishes this season most recently to Night War a fortnight ago.
Trevor Andrews‘ Ad Valorem gelding Venetian Prince is another last-start runner-up when second to Ron’s Call over 1200 metres at Ascot on October 22.
Following the obvious first four in the Placid Ark Stakes betting are then the Peter Giadresco-trained Watermans Bay ($10 Luxbet) to be ridden by Troy Turner from barrier six and Vince Cavallaro’s Bletchely Park gelding Success Park ($18).
Rounding out the field and markets are then the David Harrison-trained Magic Millions Perth 2YO Classic winner last season Western Fever at $31 and $51 roughie of the bunch In Eden’s Honour who comes off a fourth to Night War in the Westspeed 3YO Handicap.
See below for the latest Placid Ark Stakes odds courtesy of Luxbet.
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2011 Placid Ark Stakes Odds
Ascot Race 4 – 26/11/2011
|1||NIGHT WAR (4)||1.90 Luxbet|
|2||WESTERN FEVER (5)||31.00 Luxbet|
|3||GRACETOWN (1)||5.50 Luxbet|
|4||SUCCESS PARK (3)||18.00 Luxbet|
|5||WATERMANS BAY (6)||10.00 Luxbet|
|6||FLYING AFFAIR (8)||4.40 Luxbet|
|7||VENETIAN PRINCE (2)||9.50 Luxbet|
|8||IN EDEN’S HONOUR (7)||51.00 Luxbet|
*Fixed Win Odds correct at time of publication – check Luxbet for updates and to bet now!