No surprises after jockey William Pike jumped off Celebrity Miss to ride their returning rival Smoko in Saturday’s Belmont Newmarket 2014 that the latter would open shortie in the markets for the Perth feature this weekend.
Those are two of the 10 runners facing off in the $100,000 Listed Belmont Newmarket (1200m) at Belmont Park this year, the Ladbrokes.com.au favourite of which is Smoko at $1.70.
Perth’s top hoop Pike rode their rival the Grant Williams-trained Celebrity Miss last start when the More Than Ready mare improved on a Beaufine Stakes fifth to win the Listed H.G. Bolton Sprint (1200m) at the track and distance on July 30.
Celebrity Miss is at a firming $4.20 to go back-to-back in the Belmont black-types on Saturday then drawn in barrier nine with Chris Parnham coming onboard.
But the telling factor and one the bookies are taking note of is Pike’s decision to reunite with rival Smoko, the Ross & Clint Price-trained Snitzel gelding drawn one inside of the mare in barrier eight.
Boasting a record of five wins from six starts to date Smoko’s only loss was their second behind Pininci in an upset Beaufine Stakes result back on July 12.
They’ve trialed and won since however at Lark Hill on July 28 over 930m with Pike in the saddle performing well enough for the hoop to stick with them on race day.
Also working in the gelding’s favour are the Belmont Newmarket weights for the weekend.
Six-year-old Celebrity Miss carried only 54kg for her HG Bolton victory, her sixth from 10 runs at Belmont, but goes up to 56kg on Saturday.
She then is at a disadvantage with a number of the rivals she defeated last start including HG Bolton runner-up Dominating staying on the 54kg minimum.
Following the top two in the Belmont Newmarket betting markets is then one other single figure fancied, the aforementioned Dominating at $5.50.
Drawn in barrier five with Brad Parnham to ride, Neville Parnham’s Snitzel five-year-old has run top four in their four lead-up runs including finishing only a length off Celebrity Miss in the HG Bolton on equal weights.
They get the two kilo relief for the rematch here and have plenty of nice stats including at the track (12-5-3-2), over the distance (7-2-2-0) and over 1200m at Morphettville (5-2-2-0) to suggest a top three or two run.
Dominating was part-owned by Syd Stewart, a close friend of Parnham’s who sadly passed away on Tuesday night so a win would be an emotional one for the remaining connections.
The markets open right up after that however with only two others under $20 to win with David Harrison’s Beaufine Stakes winner Pininci ($17) representing nice value in barrier three out to improve on their HG Bolton fifth and the Eric Wake-trained five-year-old Dueton ($19).
See below for the full Belmont Newmarket 2014 odds open online now at our preferred online betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au who are matching the first deposits of new customers dollar for dollar up to $250 this season!
2014 Belmont Newmarket Odds
Belmont Race 7 (4:10pm) – 09/08/2014