The bookies and punters are having a hard time separating the chances of this Saturday’s 2012 Autumn Stakes field at Caulfield, half of the three-year-olds engaged under $10 in the latest betting markets for the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival event.
Due to jump at 3:10pm (VIC time) as the fifth of nine races on the CF Orr Stakes Day program, this year’s edition of the $180,000 Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) has drawn 13 acceptors, six of which are at single-figures in Luxbet markets.
Narrow $5 favourite is the Peter Snowden-trained Pied A Terre at $5, the son of Ad Valorem suffering the first loss of their four-start career to date when second to At The Heads in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on January 14.
“He’s had a month between runs, which is only going to be a plus for the horse,” Paul Snowden, stable foreman and son of Peter Snowden, said.
“We planned it that way and it seems to have worked the way he’s been working at home.”
Snowden’s other Autumn Stakes hope is Group 1 TJ Smith winner Benfica who is a $19 outsider in the betting after the Lonhro colt failed to beat home any runner first-up in the Listed Zeditave Stakes (1200m) last-start at Caulfield on Australia Day.
“He hadn’t run for six months, a lot of people forgot that, and even though he’d won early in his career over six furlongs, his better form is over a mile and that’s dead-set what he is now, a seven furlong miler,” Snowden Jnr. said of Benfica’s resuming effort.
“He’s a free-rolling horse, you can’t take a hold of him or expect him to have a turn of foot, he’s just not that type of horse, and first-up he got bottled away probably about two pairs further back than what we wanted and they weren’t making a lot of ground on the day.
“He blew out late, obviously, after that, but he’s fine now.”
Snowden warned punters not to dismiss Benfica and their juicy Luxbet price, the horse expected to improve leaps and bounds second-up over a more suitable distance, especially after they drew ideally in barrier three with Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
“He’s worked really well since,” Snowden said.
“He’s drawn a good gate so hopefully we can be out of trouble this time and have a bit better run in transit.”
Following Pied A Terre in the Autumn Stakes betting at Luxbet are then lightly-raced Stratum gelding Unpretentious ($6), Peter Moody’s Caulfield Guineas third placegetter Huegill ($7) and the Mark Kavanagh-trained Instalment ($8).
Rounding out the single-figure chances are then Danny O’Brien’s Elusive City colt Adamantium ($9) who ran a good fifth to Sepoy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes last spring and Bombalatomba ($9.50).
Many of the Autumn Stakes horses are heading towards the classic Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival’s three-year-old feature, the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3 including the Chris Hyland-trained Bombalatomba.
While current 2012 Australian Guineas favourite Helmet ($2.80 Luxbet) is going to be very hard to beat, plenty of other youngsters will be out to give it a go including Autumn Stakes runners Benfica ($16), Collar ($21), Huegill ($26), Sabrage ($26) and Specter ($26).
Further down the Australian Guineas odds punters will find Bombalatomba at $61 who is sure to come right in with a good performance on Saturday.
The Fast ‘n’ Famous gelding comes off a gritty win over 1400m at Sandown on January 28 which prompted their Cranbourne-based trainer Hyland to test them against stakes company on Saturday with an eye to the Guineas.
“He had a little bit of bad luck early in his prep but he was pretty convincing the other day,” Hyland said.
“All his runs this time in he has finished off very strongly.”
Get behind your Autumn Stakes favourites now at Luxbet and check out the futures Australian Guineas and other upcoming Group 1 markets while you are there.
2012 Autumn Stakes Odds
Caulfield Race 5 – 3:10pm – 11/02/2012
|1||BENFICA (3)||19.00 Luxbet|
|2||COLLAR (7)||13.00 Luxbet|
|3||PROLIFERATE (4)||17.00 Luxbet|
|4||SABRAGE (13)||26.00 Luxbet|
|5||SPECTER (11)||13.00 Luxbet|
|6||PIED A TERRE (12)||5.00 Luxbet|
|7||HUEGILL (1)||7.00 Luxbet|
|8||ADAMANTIUM (5)||9.00 Luxbet|
|9||MISTER MILTON (2)||19.00 Luxbet|
|10||BOMBALATOMBA (8)||9.50 Luxbet|
|11||INSTALMENT (9)||8.00 Luxbet|
|12||UNPRETENTIOUS (6)||6.00 Luxbet|
|13||ZEPHYRON (10)||10.00 Luxbet|
*Fixed Win Odds provided by Luxbet and subject to change