Gai Waterhouse has a strong hand in Saturday’s Group 2 2012 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) with the top two elects in betting coming from her stable.
Fat Al ($3.40), who had an unbeaten three-start autumn campaign, sits just ahead of Doncaster Prelude winner Fast Clip ($4.00) with both kicking off their spring campaign this weekend.
The pair are joined by stablemate and Caulfield Cup placegetter Tullamore ($18.00) in Saturday’s feature who has again been entered for the spring’s biggest staying races.
Likely to pose the biggest threat to the Waterhouse pair heading the market is six-year-old mare Dystopia ($4.20) who returned from her winter spell with an impressive victory in the Listed Toy Show Quality last month.
The daughter of Redoute’s Choice is a consistent performer and so far has recorded six wins and nine placings from 23 starts.
In what appears to be an open affair, both Ambidexter ($7.00) and Centennial Park ($7.50) also feature under double figures.
The Darley-owned Ambidexter finished fourth in both the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas in March before running second to Fat Al in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate.
Centennial Park will have to turn around two recent disappointing finishes after impressing first-up last month when runner-up to Pinwheel in the Group 3 Missile Stakes.
Stepping up in class is the Leon Corstens-trained Waterford Hill who has earned his start in stakes racing on the back of consistent performances.
After finishing fifth and fourth in his first two career starts last year the son of Encosta De Lago has won his four most recent starts.
The other runner in the Theo Marks Stakes field is the Patinack-owned Levi’s Choice ($81.00).