The Aaron Purcell-trained Spirit Song will relish coming in two gates with the early scratchings from the 2012 Sunline Stakes field at Moonee Valleytonight, the in-form four-year-old out for her second Group race win on the trot.
Both #2 Marveen and #10 Impulsive Dream, drawn in barriers two and one, have been withdrawn from the $200,000 Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) leaving 10 hopefuls in the mares-only clash.
Punters and the bookies are having a hard time separating the top chances in the race with John Gunning’s Mannerism Stakes winner Hi Belle and the Peter Snowden-trained Raspberries fresh off a two and a half length win in the Group 3 PFD Food Services Stakes (1400m) at Flemington sharing $4.60 equal favouritism through bookmaker.com.au.
The top two in the Sunline Stakes betting markets are then followed closely by Tale Of The Cat four-year-old Booklet ($6), tipped to improve on her first-up third in the PFD Food Services Stakes.
At slightly longer Sunline Stakes odds is then Spirit Song ($8.50) who will now jump from barrier eight with ace hoop Nash Rawiller, out for his second win in the feature following the success of Sylvaner (2004), in the mount.
Rawiller, in Melbourne to ride the John O’Shea-trained Foxwedge ($12 bookmaker.com.au) in the night’s feature event the $400,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m), replaces the suspended Ben Melham on Spirit Song.
The daughter of Invincible Spirit was last seen holding on in a tight finish with Marveen to win the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy over the Flemington mile a fortnight ago.
She also boasts a big four-length win over the 1600m at Moonee Valley from last December when she overcame barrier 10 of 10 carrying 59kg to take out another race against her own type.
Whether she can produce another run like that tonight remains to be seen, but Warrnambool-based Purcell has his fingers crossed.
“We’ll just push forward and see what happens,” he said.
Spirit Song has certainly done the rounds over her 18-start for 6-wins career to date.
Originally prepared in Adelaide for Stuart Gower in her opening preparation, Spirit Song was then transferred to John McArdle for whom she failed to win any of her seven starts.
Purcell has had her racing since November last year and seems to have unlocked the secret with Sprit Song winning five of her seven starts for her latest trainer.
“She’s nothing special at home, she’s a strong sort of mare but I didn’t think she was that good,” Purcell said.
“I thought Sandown midweek was about her level but she just keeps on winning.”
Fancy Spirit Song for an upset Sunline Stakes result? Or think one of the top fancies will reign supreme?
Whatever way you’re betting tonight you can find the right price at our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au.