This afternoon a powerhouse field of sprinters will face off in The Goodwood 2014 in Adelaide however top local trainer Phillip Stokes is now without a runner in the Morphettville feature despite originally paying up for two from his stables.
Running as Morphettville Race 7 at 3:30pm (local), this year’s $500,000 Group 1 The Tapestry Wines Goodwood (1200m) had 22 final acceptors earlier this week.
With a capacity 20-starter cutoff, there were two emergencies in the mix also.
Of those Stokes was to saddle-up #17 Éclair Big Bang (barrier 15) and also had the second spare Lucky Symbol (barrier 7) lying in wait.
Both though have since been scratched from the event.
Savabeel three-year-old Éclair Big Bang was well liked in early The Goodwood markets after two brave fourth place finishes this time in.
Their most recent effort was behind current The Goodwood betting favourite Miracles Of Life last Saturday in the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m).
Having displayed signs of a sore throat on Friday morning however, Stokes made the preemptive decision not to push them spelling Éclair Big Bang immediately ahead of a spring return.
“He’s just got a little bit of a throat problem so we’ve tipped him out,” Stokes told The Advertiser earlier this week.
“It was borderline that we could’ve run him but we didn’t want to risk him and he hadn’t drawn a good barrier anyway.
“We’ll try and bring him back for the early spring.”
Stokes also took out Lucky Symbol meaning there will be only 19 runners in The Goodwood field today as #15 Esprit De Bullet was also withdrawn after drawing the second widest gate.
Getting a late call-up to complete the field then is John Hickmott’s first emergency Classy Jack.
Currently paying $51 to score an upset, Classy Jack may be a roughie in The Goodwood odds but the Danerich three-year-old comes off a nice third in the Euclase seven days ago.
They will also be ridden by two time The Goodwood winning jockey Darren Gauci who won the race with Daring Jon (1987) and Boardwalk Angel (1989) during the 80s.
Stokes’ decision not to give Lucky Symbol their chance in the Group 1 meanwhile was weather related.
Another in-form three-year-old the Magnus gelding was third two back in the Listed Redelva Stakes (1050m) when blocked for a run before their sixth in the Euclase.
Stokes blamed their disappointing effort there on the Slow (6) track and wasn’t keen to test them on even softer ground today.
The course proper at Morphettville is currently rated a Heavy (8), the zero predicted rainfall today though opening up the chance of an upgrade before The Goodwood jumps.
Still Stokes wasn’t risking it with Lucky Symbol, a winner of four of their seven starts to date.
Latest The Goodwood betting markets then are led by Euclase Stakes champ Miracles Of Life, Daniel Clarken’s mare to retire at the end of the event and be sold at the end of the month by current connections.
Winner of the Blue Diamond last year during her three-year-old season she’s yet to race on Heavy going but won on a Slow last weekend and pays $7.50 today to make it successive wins.
It’s a tight top half of the market too with defending The Goodwood champ Platelet ($8) and their last start conqueror, Robert Sangster Stakes winner Driefontein ($8) the next best in betting.
They’re then followed closely by William Reid Stakes third placed Cranbourne galloper Unpretentious ($9) and Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas’ recent DC McKay Stakes winner Essay Raider ($9) at single figures before David Hayes’ Robert Sangster third placed filly Gregers at $10.
To check out the full The Goodwood 2014 odds and betting options, visit our preferred online betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on both the Group 1s today!