Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding Kabayan heads the market for the Group 3 2012 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) which features a number of promising three-year-olds out to press their Victoria Derby claims.
Kabayan is a $2.90 favourite and arrives in Melbourne on the back of a dominant win in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill last month.
The Haradusun gelding was Group 1 placed at the Brisbane Winter Carnival in June and was a tight runner-up in the McNeil Stakes at Caulfield first-up this spring before finishing fifth in the Golden Rose.
Next best in the market is unbeaten colt Philippi ($4.40) who produced a strong finish to win the UCI Stakes by a length at Flemington earlier this month.
Trainer Mick Kent said following the UCI Stakes win that the Derby was an obvious target but said he will be careful not to overstretch the youngster too early.
”It’s his first prep and we’re very mindful of that. Obviously we’re heading towards the Derby but we’ll just let him tell us,” Kent said.
Also headed towards the Derby is consistent colt Hvasstan who has won two of five starts and finished second in the UCI Stakes despite a wide barrier draw.
He occupies the third line of betting with David Payne-trained colt Honorius not far behind at $6.00.
Hnorius has been consistent without winning this spring, finishing third in the Ming Dynasty, second in the Gloaming Stakes and third in the Spring Champion Stakes.
Others in the Norman Robinson Stakes market include UCI Stakes third placegetter Jimando ($7.00) and last-start winner Electric Fusion ($11.00).
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