The major support race on the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes Day program at Moonee Valley tomorrow is the McEwen Stakes 2014, tips on the weight-for-age sprint detailed below.
There are nine gallopers in the mix for this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) with all the attention at Ladbrokes.com.au focused on $1.26 favourite Lankan Rupee.
Mick Price’s triple Group 1 winning Redoute’s Choice five-year-old is first-up here having completed an elite level trio last season finishing with the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick in the mud on April 12.
The world’s current highest rated sprinter there is no surprise on the short odds being offered on this smart galloper out to continue the nice record of first-up winners in the McEwen.
There has been a total of 18 editions of the race run over the years, the event first held in 1996 with a number of day and month moves.
That’s the case not only for the raging favourite on Saturday but also for the bulk of the field including $8.50 second pick Eloping and the $11 third fancy Unpretentious.
Eloping gets the weight advantage carrying 50kg to Lankan Rupee’s 58.5kg but will that be enough for Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison’s daughter of Choisir to become the first ever filly to salute in the race?
#1 Lankan Rupee ($1.26)
Really hard to see Price’s star sprinter get rolled here. He’s undefeated in his past six and hasn’t been beaten since October when pulling up with thumps last Cox Plate Day. Last time in he won four by big margins including first-up in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield over 1100m by four lengths. Following that was a Group 1 treble won on everything from a Good (3) to a Heavy (9) so can handle all types of ground. Trialled at Cranbourne well last month and also won first-up at Moonee Valley last year. Has won three of four off a break and should add another without much worry here. Can handle this class event with the 58.5kg under WFA and the outside barrier (9) historically is no disadvantage as only four winners in the past 18 editions have jumped from barriers 1 – 3.
#6 Cauthen ($16)
Nice price for Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young’s visiting Kiwi. This Darci Brahma stallion makes his four-year-old debut on the weekend with some setbacks seeing him miss the autumn and not having had a run since a second over 1200m back home in January. Progressed well in the paddock and then stable since and has winning form at Moonee Valley having defeated subsequent Cox Plate winner Shamus Award in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) here a year ago. Runs well fresh (2-1-1-0), track suits (2-1-1-0) and if he’s back to his best can finish right up there.
#9 Eloping ($8.50)
This young filly is out to defy history with no filly having won the McEwen Stakes. In fact only two three-year-olds have won in 18 editions and the only filly before Eloping to have had a crack was Satin Shoes who ran eighth in 2011. Still she’s deserving of a shot and the WFA conditions will suit. She’s nicely bred and the form was promising last time in including a Group 3 Keith McKay Stakes (1200m) win over Ygritte at Randwick in April. Fourth at Group 2 level behind Brazen Beau last time out over 1200m at Doomben and won a trial in the lead-up to this. Also will relish the short distance with two wins from three starts over the 1000m to date.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change