The bookies are having a hard time separating the chances of the two top fillies in Saturday’s Flight Stakes 2014 field with Winx and First Seal co-favourites in the early markets for the Randwickclash.
One of three Group 1 features on the card in Sydney this weekend, this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) originally drew a final field of nine three-year-old fillies.
That figure is now down to eight however after Gai Waterhouse withdrew the rails-drawn Twirl who has been suffering fetlock issues this preparation.
Sitting top of the Flight Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are then Winx and First Seal at $2.50 who ran second and first respectively in the race’s traditional lead-up last time out.
On September 20 at Randwick the John Thompson-trained First Seal upset the odds-on favourite Winx, who was previously undefeated and coming off a Group 2 Furious Stakes win, with a three-quarter length victory in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
Now the daughter of Fastnet Rock is looking to become the 10th Flight Stakes winner to come via the Tea Rose Stakes in the past 11 years.
In that time five completed the double with Guelph (2013), Streama (2010), More Joyous (2009), Samantha Miss (2008) and Cheeky Choice (2006).
Her Tea Rose performance was a brilliant effort and her breeding suggests she’s only going to improve as she’s stepped up in distance starting on Saturday when she goes over a mile for the first time on another suitably firm track.
Winx meanwhile may have lost for the punters in the Tea Rose, but the Chris Waller-trained daughter of Street Cry gets a chance to atone here.
She had no excuses last time out and simply wasn’t the best filly on the day.
Still she has to be considered again here, even from the wide draw, as she’s got the talent to get back in the winners’ stall if things go her way on the weekend with the race’s most successful jockey, four-time winner Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Outside the top two there is just one other single figure hope in the Flight Stakes betting markets with the Peter Moody-trained Thinking Of You paying $4.60 to retain her undefeated status.
Yet to race in black type company the progressive Thorn Park filly is dually accepted for this weekend also in the mix for the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Moody is possibly leading towards the Melbourne run for his last start Caulfield winner too as he wants to avoid travelling interstate with the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on Saturday week, October 11, her next major assignment.
The next best in betting is then Waterhouse’s remaining hope Echo Gal at $17 who comes off a second in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) here on September 20, before the rest of the field including the Lee Curtis-trained Press Report ($21) and Tea Rose sixth placed Lady Sharapova ($21) are at blow out prices for an upset Flight Stakes result.
See below for the latest Flight Stakes 2014 odds, fixed win prices available online at Ladbrokes.com.au where you’ll get paid Best Tote or SP + 20% on your winnings for the Sydney major this Saturday – the Epsom Handicap!