On Saturday a class field of promising spring gallopers is set to run in the 2013 PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse, the Races.com.au tips and betting selections for which are detailed below.
Running as Caulfield Race 6 at 3:20pm (AEST) the $220,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) line-up features just nine hopefuls this year.
There’s no shortage of class in the mix however with a number of horses heading towards some of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors including the easing favourite Puissance De Lune.
Darren Weir’s progressive stayer is back after minor surgery to remove bone chips and is ready to salute in their fourth consecutive race after big spring wins last season and dead heat in the Blamey Stakes during the autumn.
Puissance De Lune is being spruiked by all as the horse to beat not only first-up on Saturday but also in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
They are dominating early markets for the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
But with that big target on the horizon as well as a lead-up run in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in October, will Puissance De Lune be ready to fire first-up?
Other shorties in the markets then include the $5.50 co second favourites Second Effort and Launay.
The Clinton McDonald-trained Second Effort is the reigning Lawrence Stakes champ and has history against them on Saturday with the last horse to go back-to-back in the race formerly known as the Liston Stakes being Tauto back in 1971-72.
Peter Snowden’s veteran Lonhro seven-year-old Launay meanwhile is the Lawrence Stakes betting market mover following their nice first-up third behind Second Effort in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) here.
So are these three the ones to lock into your PB Lawrence Stakes trifecta?
Or is there value to be found further down the markets from the likes of Monash Stakes winner Pago Rock ($10) or Peter Moody’s resuming Adelaide Guineas champ High Esteem ($15)?
#2 Launay ($5.50)
Lots and lots to like about Peter Moody’s evergreen veteran. May be seven but this is only start number 29 so plenty left in their legs. Went under the radar earlier but money is coming for them now and they are the deserving market mover. Drawn on the rails which will be fine so long as the track isn’t slow. Loves the 1400m having won their past two runs over the distance at Flemington, most recently in March. Weight-for-age is fine and first-up effort was excellent. Under a length away third in the Bletchingly Stakes and will improve second-up going up to the 1400m. Second-up record is outstanding including last time in when winning the Listed TAB Stakes (1400m) in Melbourne. Their jockey for that Kerrin McEvoy reunites on Saturday and think they’ll be hard to hold out.
#1 Second Effort ($5.50)
Sticking with the reigning Lawrence Stakes winner for second. Did well to win this first-up last year and this time they’ve got the fitness edge with two good runs behind them. First was a third behind Pago Rock in the Monash Stakes after which they improved to win the Bletchingly at Caulfield, a track they always run well on. History says that going back-to-back in this race doesn’t happen, last was over four decades ago. But there’s still lots in their favour so will be close.
#4 Puissance De Lune ($2.60)
They are the favourite but slight shift away from them and we are a little skeptical for their first-up run too. Think they are going to be at their peak for something like the Cox Plate and then going up again for the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November. Still they have class as they showed winning the Bendigo Cup by eight lengths and the Queen Elizabeth last spring by eight. Trainer Darren Weir is confident, they’ve done well in all their lead-up work, and jockey Glen Boss continues to talk them up whenever he gets the chance. Still, think they’ll be a little sharp for him over the 1400m as they’ve never raced under a mile before.
#8 High Esteem ($15)
Peter Moody’s Redoute’s Choice stallion makes their four-year-old debut here and think they could surprise. Won three on the trot during autumn including the Listed Adelaide Guineas (1800m) against their own kind in mid-April. While they’re up in class here have the makings of a nice spring type. Run okay fresh and have won over the 1400m in Melbourne before. Also a three length winner at the track two back over 1700m.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from bookmaker.com.au and subject to change