They may be taking on a field full of more experienced Group performing gallopers, but it is Colin Scott’s emerging four-year-old Speediness the punters want to win the 2012 Blamey Stakes at Flemington’s Super Saturday of Racing.
The Testa Rossa gelding is the only horse in the bumper 16-starter field for the $200,000 Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) to firm in from their opening price in the early horse racing betting markets.
After opening around $5 they have since been backed into $4.60 and share top spot in the Blamey Stakes 2012 odds along with Peter Snowden’s three-year-old hopeful Pied A Terre.
Drawn in barrier four with triple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss aboard, Speediness is out to maintain their undefeated status this season having won both of their starts in Melbourne for 2012.
Over their nine-start career which has produced a quartet of turf triumphs, Speediness has twice raced over a mile winning their first at Sandown in February last year and then running second to subsequent Stradbroke Handicap winner Sincero in the Inglis Guineas at Scone.
Co-favourite Pied A Terre, meanwhile, sees the 1600-metres for the first time in the Blamey Stakes.
The promising Ad Valorem gelding, who skipped last weekend’s Australian Guineas with Snowden fearing they wouldn’t be able to beat the eventual 12th-placed favourite Helmet, has won four of their five starts to date most recently the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 11.
They have drawn double-digits in barrier 11 and obviously face a tough test with the only other three-year-old in the race being Anthony Freedman’s Caulfield Guineas fourth placegetter Specter, but still Snowden believes Pied A Terre is not without their claims.
“Obviously he’s taking on the older horses, but he gets a little bit of weight relief and he’s a horse that balances up on the speed, so the barrier’s not that big a deal with him,” Snowden said of Pied A Terre who will carry just 54kg under the set weights plus penalties conditions.
“He’s ultra-consistent, his record speaks for itself, but the key to the horse is keeping him fresh.
“He’s won off a four-week break and he’s had a similar let up between races again.
“He relishes that and he’s going to be really hard to deal with on Saturday.”
Just three of the other Blamey Stakes runners are at single-figures to win with former Emirates Stakes winner at the track and distance Wall Street, David Payne’s Thorn Park six-year-old Centennial Park and WA raider Ranger all rated around the same price between $7 and $8.
The Grant Williams-trained Ranger in gate 16 with Nash Rawiller in the saddle goes to Flemington for the first time following two unsuccessful runs at Caulfield since travelling to Melbourne.
They were last seen finishing four and a half lengths off Lucas Cranach, $3 bookmaker.com.au favourite to win the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on Saturday, and coming back to the mile are sure to be more competitive.
Other longer-priced hopefuls that could make a nice value bet at bookmaker.com.au include last year’s Caulfield Cup runner-up Green Moon (approx. price $11) and strong staying type Niwot paying around $15 in the Blamey Stakes betting markets.
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