There may be two Group 1 winning mares in the field but it is a last start Group 1 failure Soft Sand who dominates the How Now Stakes 2012 odds ahead of this Saturday’s showdown at Caulfield Racecourse.
The Colin Little-trained Dansili mare is due to make her four-year-old debut in the last on Underwood Stakes Day and is the surprise early favourite paying $5.50 to win the $150,000 Group 3 Sportingbet Sprint Series Heat 2 Stakes (1200m) – formerly the How Now Stakes.
It is a big call from the bookies as Soft Sand hasn’t raced since finishing 15th behind Pear Tart in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 23, and she faces no easy task first-up with a full field engaged for Caulfield Race 9 on Saturday.
Drawn in barrier six Soft Sand will be ridden by ace hoop Craig Williams for the first time on Saturday, the $160,000 yearling purchase from the 2010 Australian Easter Sales looking to return to the form that saw her win three of her four career starts.
Two things firmly in Soft Sand’s favour for Saturday are the distance and her excellent first-up record.
While her main dangers in four time Group 1 champion Mosheen and Myer Classic winner Hurtle Myrtle’s preferred distances are much further than Saturday’s 1200m, Soft Sand has never raced beyond 1400m.
She also won the Listed Kevin Hayes Stakes over this track and distance by an easy three lengths back in February and is undefeated first-up including her resuming win over the 100m at Caulfield back in May.
There are then three other classy mares fighting for second favouritism in the How Now Stakes markets with:
- #1 Mosheen ($7) – Has four Group 1 wins to her name, two of which were in open company, but needs to improve on her 13th in the Bobbie Lewis over this distance last time out, being against her own kind will help as will barrier four but really is looking for longer
- #2 Hurtle Myrtle ($7.50) – Matthew Smith’s resuming Myer Classic champ gets a draw in barrier two but her resuming record isn’t stand out and is another that will be better getting up to a mile this time in
- #3 Curtana ($7.50) – Peter Moody-trained daughter of Exceed And Excel was last seen winning the Listed Straight Six down the 1200m at Flemington, has class and distance is right great first-up record and definite chance here even from their horror outside draw
Other longer priced chances that are not out of the picture completely include the John O’Shea-trained stakes winner Alberton Park ($11), Moody’s other runner Total Attraction ($11) last seen running third in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes two weeks back over 1400m, the Peter Snowden-trained Detours ($11) and first emergency Classy Chloe ($12) who is set to gain a start following the early scratching of #11 Rosie’s Reward.
Check out the latest How Now Stakes 2012 fixed win odds in the table below.
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2012 How Now Stakes Odds
Caulfield Race 9 – 5:00pm – 22/09/2012
|2||HURTLE MYRTLE (2)||7.50|
|4||COMBAT KITTY (8)||26.00|
|5||ALBERTON PARK (5)||11.00|
|6||SOFT SAND (6)||5.50|
|7||CELEBRITY GIRL (16)||17.00|
|8||MRS ONASSIS (14)||14.00|
|9||SECRET LIAISON (7)||51.00|
|10||GOSSIP GIRL (9)||14.00|
|11||ROSIE’S REWARD (12)||–|
|12||TOTAL ATTRACTION (3)||11.00|
|15||RUE MAPLE (15)||21.00|
|17e||CLASSY CHLOE (11)||12.00|
|18e||SPOT ON MAGGIE (17)||51.00|
*Fixed Win Odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change