Punters backing a winner in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) Saturday afternoon have varied opinions on just who will take the race home at Flemington Racecourse at 4:20pm.
Several of the high-profile runners have been heavily backed, with equal money coming in for Puissance De Lune, Lucia Valentina, and defending champion Happy Trails at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The three have been contesting favouritism at $6, though Darren Weir’s Puissance De Lune was just shortened to $5.50.
Third on his last two starts, which were both Group Ones, the seven-year-old Puissance opened the betting market with odds of $8.50 but has been the market mover of the field, with his price dropping all the way to the $5.50 mark.
The seven-year-old will jump from the ideal second barrier under jockey Brad Rawiller. Second to Happy Trails in last year’s Turnbull, Weir will want to beat the defending champion home this afternoon.
Kris Lees’ Lucia Valentina’s odds got as low as $5 for the 2014 Turnbull Stakes, but a hoof injury saw less money coming in for the four-year-old and she was lengthened slightly to $6.
Her place in the 2000m event has been in doubt since Thursday morning due to the injury but remained part of the field when today’s 7:30am scratching deadline passed.
She will undergo one final vet test when she arrives on the course but Lees is confident she’ll make it to the track.
“She has missed that little bit of work but she did canter and she’s not a very big filly and doesn’t carry any access so I don’t think it’ll make any difference with her,” Lees told RSN’s On The Punt.
A fast-finishing sixth in the Group 1 Geo Main Stakes (1600m) on her last out, Lucia Valentina will relish the return to 2000m distance as she starts from gate five with Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
The Paul Beshara-trained Happy Trails will get the ideal rails run as he vies for back-to-back Turnbull wins after drawing barrier one with Michael Rodd to ride.
Money has been coming in for the reigning Turnbull champion, who saw his price shorten from $7.50 to $6 with punters backing the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) runner-up his last time out to take out the double.
Mark Kavanagh’s Super Cool has also received a lot of attention from punters, with his price firming from $31 to $17.
The five-year-old will start from barrier four with Glen Boss to ride.
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