James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
A dual acceptor across two states this weekend, 2014 Golden Rose hope Nostradamus has opened top fancy to win his Melbourne assignment – the 2014 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained son of Medaglia D’Oro colt entered Group 1 spring calculations with his first-up win in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 16.
Now there is two second-up options for the Blue Diamond Stakes seventh placed galloper this Saturday.
The first is to stay in Sydney and take on early Ladbrokes.com.au pick for the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on September 13, Almalad, in the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
For that race he pays $6, equal second pick with Chris Waller’s Group 2 winner Brazen Beau with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Almalad leading the markets at $3.80.
Sydney however has been smashed with heavy rainfall over the past couple of weeks leading to a Heavy-rated track at Rosehill.
If conditions improve and the track firms ahead of Saturday there is a strong chance Team Hawkes will keep Nostradamus in Sydney.
However at this stage the more likely option is the $150,000 Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) in Victoria, Nostradamus the early $3.30 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win this race on firmer ground.
He is one of 13 in the mix and has come up trumps with barrier two, Dwayne Dunn booked for the ride replacing James McDonald who races in Sydney this weekend.
Following Nostradamus in the HDF McNeil Stakes betting markets are then just two other single figure hopes with the Mick Price-trained stablemates Nordic Empire ($6.50) and Jabali ($7.50).
In barrier six for Nicholas Hall, Wilander colt Nordic Empire upstaged his Group 1 performing stablemates in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at the track a fortnight ago when fourth behind Get The Nod.
Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Jabali meanwhile must overcome barrier 13 on the weekend and improve on a below par sixth in the Vain Stakes when ridden first-up by Damien Oliver who is replaced by Craig Newitt this weekend.
Price has a total of four McNeil Stakes hopes on Saturday with his two other runners being Blue Diamond third placed Cornrow, a $31 outsider after a Vain Stakes ninth last time out, and lightly-raced Moonovermanhattan ($21) with the rails run for his second career start.
At better value than those under $10 but still with strong claims are then the likes of Mark Kavanagh’s Street Cry colt Chivalry ($10) racing for the first time since a Blue Diamond eighth, Cranbourne-based filly Novel Dancer ($10) who was third in the Group e Quezette Stakes at the track two weeks back, the Peter Moody-trained Tat Tat Diamond ($10) after his third win on the trot to retain a flawless record and Group 1 Champagne Stakes runner-up from the autumn Zululand ($12) coming off a Vain Stakes fifth.
The current HDF McNeil Stakes 2014 betting odds are listed in the table below complete with fixed odds links straight to Ladbrokes.com.au where you can access the weekend’s premium horse racing odds and bonuses!
2014 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes Odds
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