With so many of the early fancies suffering horror draws for the Ajax Stakes 2012 at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, Gai Waterhouse’s up-and-coming Encosta De Lago colt Niagara has been installed as the punters’ pick.
The $175,000 Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) field for Saturday is down to 17 hopefuls after the early scratching of #17 Knot Out, Niagara now in barrier 10 opening the favourite.
While their strike rate isn’t overly impressive, Niagara having one just one of their eight starts, the race they did win at Canterbury over 1550m last September was by a very nice six lengths.
From there they ran third to Sabrage in the Group 3 Nroman Robinson Stakes (200m) before failing in their distance test when beaten 17.5 lengths running 13th to Sangster in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
Getting back to the mile for their final run last spring Niagara showed great improvement and came within a half-head of winning the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m).
They resumed at Randwick on March 17 and finished just half a length away second to Nobby Snip in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m), Waterhouse confident Niagara will improve on that run and win the Ajax Stakes on Saturday.
It seems the bookie agree as Niagara sits top of the Ajax Stakes odds paying $4.60 through bookmaker.com.au.
The close second favourite is another three-year-old colt, Peter Snowden’s son of Ad Valorem Pied A Terre paying $5.50.
Drawn awkwardly in barrier 13, into 12 with the early scratching, Pied A Terre has won four of their six starts to date most recently in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
They were last seen running a good second behind top stayer Green Moon in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and Saturday sees them race in Sydney for the first time.
Three other Ajax Stakes hopefuls are at single-figures through bookmaker.com.au in the latest markets with Colin Scott’s fast four-year-old Speediness ($6), Niagara’s stablemate Fast Clip ($7.50) coming off a first-up third in the Liverpool City Cup, and Newcastle Newmarket Handicap minor placegetter Star Of Octagonal ($9).
Other longer-priced gallopers that might be worth a look in for your exotics or even an upset Ajax Stakes result include the Paul Murray-trained Alma’s Fury ($13) who won at the track and distance in Janaury, Hood ($14), the Chris Waller-trained Triple Elegance ($21) who boasts a Group 1 third I last year’s George Main Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill, consistent Morphettville miler Happy Trails ($26) and even the resuming Ironstein ($41) who races well fresh.
The latest 2012 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes fixed win odds can be found below, all prices courtesy of our preferred online bookmaker bookmaker.com.au.
2012 Ajax Stakes Odds
Rosehill Race 6 – 3:30pm – 31/03/2012
|1||ALL SILENT (17)||17.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|2||TRIPLE ELEGANCE (6)||21.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|3||GATHERING (3)||81.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|4||ROCK CLASSIC (15)||34.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|5||IRONSTEIN (7)||41.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|6||ABSOLUTELY (12)||51.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|7||FAST CLIP (8)||7.50 bookmaker.com.au|
|8||PIED A TERRE (13)||5.50 bookmaker.com.au|
|9||FIREBOLT (5)||26.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|10||STAR OF OCTAGONAL (14)||9.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|11||SPEEDINESS (16)||6.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|12||HOOD (1)||14.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|13||NIAGARA (11)||4.60 bookmaker.com.au|
|14||HAPPY TRAILS (10)||26.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|15||AL DHAFRA (18)||26.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|16||ALMA’S FURY (9)||13.00 bookmaker.com.au|
|17||KNOT OUT (4)||–|
|18||REVOLT (2)||61.00 bookmaker.com.au|
*Fixed Win Odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change