Triple stakes winning mare Hi Belle has opened the narrow favourite to win Friday night’s 2012 Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley Racecourse, the mares-only showdown shaping up as a tight betting affair for the punters.
Drawn in barrier eight with Craig Williams to ride, the John Gunning-trained Clangalang five-year-old Hi Belle sits at the top of the markets for the $200,000 Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m), the race attracting 12 acceptors.
Easy two length winner of the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield two starts back, Hi Belle was last seen coming within a length of Spirit Song when fourth in the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy over the Flemington mile a fortnight ago.
In the latest Sunline Stakes odds Hi Belle pays $4.80 but is followed very closely by a number of other hopefuls including Peter Snowden’s talented Lonhro four-year-old Raspberries ($5) and the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Booklet ($5.50).
Raspberries resumed with an excellent first-up win in the Group 3 PFD Food Services Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 3 and having drawn nicely in barrier five for Friday looks well positioned to make it back-to-back Group victories in the Sunline.
She is a winner over 1600-metres from last March and was also far from disgraced after she backed up from an Epsom Handicap 13th place finish to run fourth in a Group 3 race at Moonee Valley over the mile on Cox Plate Day last spring.
Tale Of The Cat four-year-old Booklet also comes into the Sunline Stakes on the back of a PFD Food Services Stakes run where they finished a first-up third to Raspberries.
Friday night will be their first look at a mile in close to 12 months, but the last time they raced over the distance they scored a gritty win in the Adelaide Guineas at Morphettville.
Rounding out the single-figure chances in the Sunline Stakes betting markets this year are then the in-form Schweppervescence Trophy winner Spirit Song ($8.50), runner-up Marveen ($9), and last year’s Sunline Stakes second placed Lady Lynette ($9).
It is a tight market, and rightfully so, with other genuine chances at slightly longer odds including reigning AJC Oaks winner Absolutely ($11), Anthony Freedman’s Echuca Cup winner Zubbaya ($12) and Encosta De Lago mare Seduced ($13) who ran third in the Schweppervescence Trophy.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view our exclusive Moonee Valley tips for all the William Reid Stakes Night races to be published tomorrow.
When it comes to having a punt on the weekend’s races, avoid the land based bookies with their long lines and bet online right away with bookmaker.com.au, home to the fastest way to bet on the net – Quickbet!