Tonight Cranbourne Racecourse will be host to a bumper 13-hitout trial program, stars entered appear under the lights ahead of their autumn returns including Darley-owned superstars Sepoy and Helmet, as well as Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker.
Trials are a great way for Luxbet punters to get an idea of how their favourite horses are progressing, and can be indicative of whether they are worth backing in their next race.
The first of the champions trialing at Cranbourne tonight is the Peter Snowden-trained Caulfield Guineas winner Helmet, the ace three-year-old to run over 1000m in his first official gallop since running eight in the Cox Plate on October 22.
Helmet, who is set to head overseas for the Dubai World Cup Night to contest the $1 million UAE Derby (1800m) in March before embarking on a new European racing career for Godolphin, is scheduled to resume racing in the $200,000 Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington Saturday week.
Second-up they will go into the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), also at Flemington, on March 3.
The 2012 Australian Guineas will be Helmet’s final run down under and in the latest Luxbet futures for the classic they are the firm $3 favourite.
Tonight Kerrin McEvoy will take the mount on Helmet, the top jockey having also been confirmed as the rider for both Helmet and Sepoy in Dubai next month.
Helmet’s superlative stablemate, four-time Group 1 hero Sepoy is entered for the second Cranbourne trial, but is likely to be saved for a Flemington trial on Friday morning.
Sepoy’s resuming run will likely be in the $350,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25.
In the third Pinker Pinker will take on six rivals, a number of other runners withdrawn including the brilliant Bel Sprinter, Greg Eurell’s four-year-old Reset mare last seen claiming an upset victory over Kiwi galloper Jimmy Choux in the iconic Cox Plate.
Eurell has named the $500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 25, as Pinker Pinker’s return run where she could face off against the unbeaten Black Caviar.
She is also in the mix for a 1200m trial on the program where Anthony Freedman’s Melbourne Cup third placegetter Lucas Cranach and the Robert Smerdon-trained champion hurdler Black And Bent are also set to trial.
A number of the season’s top two-year-olds who are heading towards the 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on February 25 are also engaged for tonight’s trials including Members Joy who ran second to Malausn last-start in the Listed Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m).
Malasun leads the Luxbet markets for the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) paying $6, a price sure to firm if she wins the BD Prelude this weekend.
Memebers Joy is currently paying $15.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the autumn race coverage.
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