Neville Layt’s 2012 Oakleigh Plate-bound Karuta Queen is the short-priced favourite to win her first-up assignment in the $125,000 Group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield’s CF Orr Stakes Day this Saturday after her racing resumption was set back a week with last Saturday’s Warwick Farm washout.
One of 11 sprinters accepted into the 2012 Rubiton Stakes field this year, the event to run as Caulfield Race 7 at 4:30pm (VIC time), Karuta Queen is dominating the Luxbet markets at a nearly odds-on price of $2.15.
Drawn to perfection in gate two as the 52.5kg lightweight of the set weights plus penalties clash, the Not A Single Doubt three-year-old is heading towards the $350,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) back at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 25.
In the Oakleigh Karuta Queen is likely to come up against Peter Snowden’s champion colt Sepoy, who she finished a well-beaten 10th behind in last year’s Golden Slipper in Sydney, but jockey Tommy Berry remains confident in the filly’s ability to put on a good show.
“She’s a very smart horse on her day and if she has everything go right for her, she’ll give it (the Oakleigh Plate) a shake and give them something to catch,” Berry said.
“It’s going to be a very tough race and there won’t be any mucking around.
“If you look at her record, over 1200 (metres) she’s run fourth to Smart Missile, Helmet and Foxwedge (in the Group 3 Run To The Rose on August 27).
“They’re pretty smart horses and they were all colts and she was a filly.
“She only got beaten a neck by Helmet at that stage.”
During the spring Karuta Queen was a competitive force running second to Black Caviar in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) before winning the Group 3 1300 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley by a commanding three lengths.
She was last seen running second to African Pulse in the Schweppes Tonic 1000 at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, and Berry believes she has come back in terrific fashion ready to tackle her opposition at Caulfield.
“She probably didn’t handle it a hundred per cent (in the Schillaci), she got around Moonee Valley better but that was the second time going around that way,” he said.
“She’s worked around there (Caulfield) and everything like that so I think she’d get around there a lot better.
“When she was up against Black Caviar, she’s never had a horse to go past her so quick and leave her three lengths behind.
“She was probably a little bit star-gazed about all that happening so quick, a horse coming past that quick and leaving her she got a little bit lost.
“I don’t think that will be happening on Saturday.”
Black Caviar also races at Caulfield on Saturday, the undefeated mare to shoot for win No. 18 in the $400,000 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m).
Three of Karuta Queen’s rivals are also at single-figures in the Rubiton Stakes betting markets with Danny O’Brien’s progressive Encosta De Lago colt Decircles ($5.50 Luxbet), First Command who has been backed in from $7 to $6 and who beat home Decircles to win the Listed Kensington Stakes at Flemington last-start, and the Peter Moody-trained Group 2 winning Master Harry ($9.50 Luxbet).
Other notable Rubiton Stakes hopefuls and their current prices to win include Mark Kavanagh’s Kensington Stakes third placegetter Weekend Special ($10), up-and-coming Spinning World three-year-old Hot Spin ($14 into $10) and Zedi Knight ($14 into $12) coming off a second to Black Caviar in the Group 2 Australia Stakes.
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2012 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes Field & Odds
Caulfield Race 7 – 4:30pm – 11/02/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rtg.||Odds*|
|1||7190X0040X||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||Dwayne Dunn||10||58.5kg||105||26.00 Luxbet|
|2||8X2116X60X||MASTER HARRY||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5||57.5kg||98||9.50 Luxbet|
|3||40X7307083||GRAND DUELS||Byron Cozamanis||Billy Egan||4||57kg||101||51.00 Luxbet|
|4||120X527X31||FIRST COMMAND||Anthony Freedman||Steven Arnold||3||57kg||105||6.00 Luxbet|
|5||0X94706192||ZEDI KNIGHT||Brendan McCarthy||Brad Rawiller||9||57kg||103||12.00 Luxbet|
|6||12709X400X||DIPLOMATIC FORCE||Wayne Nichols||Craig Robertson||6||56.5kg||95||51.00 Luxbet|
|7||X79X430060||HERE DE ANGELS||Wendy Roche||Nicholas Hall||1||56kg||97||101.00 Luxbet|
|8||2X1212X123||WEEKEND SPECIAL||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||11||56kg||85||10.00 Luxbet|
|9||39X21129X2||HOT SPIN||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Andrew Mallyon||8||54kg||82||10.00 Luxbet|
|10||762X1X2||DECIRCLES||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||7||53kg||78||5.50 Luxbet|
|11||20X341212X||KARUTA QUEEN||Neville Layt||Tommy Berry||2||52.5kg||99||2.15 Luxbet|
*Fixed Win Odds provided by Luxbet and subject to change