Local Morphettville-based Richard Jolly is hoping the likely absence of pace in Saturday’s Spring Stakes 2014 will work in favour of his runner Karacatis who can lead-all-the-way in the weight-for-age clash.
There are four single figure fancies through Ladbrokes.com.au in the nine-horse field for this year’s $115,000 Group 3 David R Coles AM Spring Stakes (1200m) including Jolly’s rails-drawn Karacatis.
Spring Stakes betting is dominated by Paul Beshara’s dual Group 1 winner Happy Trails ($2.60) and local The Goodwood placegetter Riziz ($2.80) hot on their heels.
Karacatis meanwhile occupies the third line of the Spring Stakes odds paying $4.80 as the Ladbrokes.com.au market mover.
“They’re the three best horses — they look the ones,” Jolly told The Advertiser speaking of Karacatis, Happy Trails and Riziz.
“Especially at weight-for-age, if it was a handicap it might be a bit different.
“I was a bit shocked (when I saw the field) actually, a couple of weeks ago I thought it was shaping up to be really strong but it’s pretty thin really.”
Jolly’s Hussonet six-year-old has the chance for the inside run from barrier one with apprentice Jake Toeroek to ride as the galloper looks to add to their strong first-up record of three wins and two seconds from five resuming runs to date.
Winner of the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day in the summer, their autumn form this Adelaide Racing Carnival included a second in the Group 3 DC McKay Stakes (1100m) and a last start sixth to upset winner Smokin’ Joey in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 10.
They trialed leading up to Saturday last Friday when third over 1000m and should be fitter for the hit-out.
Jolly knows that 2014 Cox Plate-bound Happy Trails is the horse to beat in the Spring Stakes this year with the Good Journey gelding looking to improve on their luckless fifth in the sprint last year.
“You never underestimate him because he’s a Group 1 winner,” he said.
“He’s the only real weight-for-age horse in the race. He might blow them away if Paul’s got him fit and ready to go.”
And Riziz’s form is also imposing according to the rival trainer, although his horse has given them a run for their money a number of times before.
“There’s never much between (Karacatis) and Riziz, if you look at their records they’ve both beaten each other a couple of times,” he said.
“It looks like it’s between the top three.”
Karacatis isn’t far off the top two ratings-wise either and Jolly hopes the fact the race reads with no speed will see his versatile runner pushing forward in a possible all-the-way upset like they did back in Melbourne in December.
“He can adapt to the pattern of the race,” Jolly said.
“We’ll wait and see on the day, if there’s not much pace he can push forward.”
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