It is shaping up as a close finish in the 2012 Grand Prix Stakes at Doomben on Saturday if the betting markets are anything to go by, five of the gallopers paying under $7 to win with the top three all prepared by Peter Moody.
Of the 16 starters and single emergency engaged for the $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) the current bookmaker.com.au odds are narrowly led by 44 favourite Brambles.
Drawn in barrier seven with Brad Rawiller to ride, progressive Savabeel filly Brambles is one of three chances in the race for leading Victorian horseman Moody.
Heading towards a start in the classic $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9, Brambles was last seen hanging on to beat home Margins by a nose in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on May 12.
Before their Doomben win Brambles ran a good third to Trump in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) on a Heavy (8) Eagle Farm track, Moody’s racing manager Jeff O’Connor pleased with both recent runs.
“That meeting (Eagle Farm) was moved to the Wednesday and I think it proved a blessing in disguise,” he said.
“The race was run on a heavy track and he had to back-up 10 days later in the Rough Habit.
“The Gunsynd run took the edge right off him and he settled really well last start.”
Following Brambles in the Grand Prix Stakes betting markets are then their two fellow Queensland Derby bound stablemates Soros ($4.60) and well performing Reset gelding Vatuvei ($6.50).
Lonhro colt Soros has come up trumps with barrier four while Vatuvei will jump from gate eight with Luke Nolen in the saddle.
Both are also last start winners like Brambles with Soros having won over 2000m at Flemington on May 5, and Vatuvei having shown their staying potential with a good win in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) in the wet on Anzac Day.
While Vatuvei has snared the stables’ ace jockey in Nolen, O’Conner said that didn’t indicate the horse was necessarily their best chance in the race saying Rawiller would stay on Brambles because he rode him so well last start.
“I wouldn’t read into that too much,” O’Connor said.
“He’s a hard horse to ride and Brad (Rawiller) won on him last start so he’s got the gig.”
As for Vatuvei O’Conner predicted improvement when they got to the roomier track at Eagle Farm for the Derby.
“I don’t think Doomben will be his track but if he happens to win they’re going to find it hard to beat him in the Derby,” he said.
They may be the favourite for Saturday but in the futures Queensland Derby odds at bookmaker.com.au Brambles is only rated a $15 chance while Soros and Vatuvei pay $5.50 and $9 respectively.
With Soros so short in the Queensland Derby betting markets O’Connor said their three-year-old season could be their only chance to win over the longer distances.
“Soros is a fantastic looking son of Lonhro.
“He might not be a stayer when he gets outside his three-year-old season but he’s at the top of his game.”
Sandwiched in between Moody’s possible Grand Prix Stakes trifecta is then John Thompson’s consistent Magic Albert gelding Isopach ($5.50) who ran a good fourth in the Rough Habit, while the Peter Snowden-trained last-start Rosehill winner Euryale ($7) rounds out the single figure chances in the markets.
See below for the latest fixed win Grand Prix Stakes odds courtesy of bookmaker.com.au.
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2012 Grand Prix Stakes Odds
Doomben Race 5 – 2:40pm – 26/05/2012
|8||CAPTAIN FASTBUCK (15)||101.00|
|9||LARGO DA BARRA (17)||51.00|
|10||COLOUR ME GRAND (3)||201.00|
|11||RED SHIFT (2)||17.00|
|13||ST SULLY (12)||61.00|
|15||PRECIOUS MANDY (9)||41.00|
|16||HULA LUA (14)||17.00|
|17||MOMENT TO REMEMBER (13)||201.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change