Three horses have been scratched from the Moonee Valley Vase 2014 field on Cox Plate Day today with odds on the remaining hopes firming in at bookies around the country.
Originally there were 14 three-year-olds set to face off in this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Dilmah Exceptional Teas Vase (2040m), running as Race 7 at 4:50pm (AEDT) as the curtain opener to the Cox Plate this afternoon.
The shortest-priced of the hopefuls now out of contention was the John O’Shea-trained Gouldian paying $5 at the time of his scratching.
Drawn in gate three with James McDonald to have ridden the Street Cry colt, Gouldian came off a 1600m win at Warwick Farm from October 8 and was shooting for back-to-back wins in his Melbourne debut.
The Godolphin-owned Gouldian developed a cough late in the week and the stable’s racing manager Jason Walsh said they would “let the dust settle” before ruling him out of the entire spring and the Victoria Derby Saturday week.
The other notable Vase scratching was then the Races.com.au tip to win, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Duccio.
The More Than Ready gelding paid $9 and represented nice value at Ladbrokes.com.au with Damien Oliver to ride the widely-drawn hopeful who has run top three in all four of his runs this time in.
Last start he was runner-up to subsequent Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes winner Hampton Court, now favourite for the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington Saturday week, in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Randwick.
The third and final scratching from the Moonee Valley Vase field this year is then the Anthony Cummings-trained Miss Interiors, the Flying Spur filly coming off a disappointing ninth to Crown Oaks-bound Fontein Ruby in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) from the start of the month.
There are now three runners battling for top spot in the Moonee Valley Vase odds, the narrow favourite of which is Victoria Derby hopeful Atmosphere ($5 into $4).
Trent Busuttin’s Savabeel three-year-old is trained in New Zealand but all three of his career starts so far have been in Victoria including a last start second behind Magicool in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington.
Out to break his maiden status today, Atmosphere jumps from barrier three and should appreciate the inside alley after doing it tough from out wide last time out.
Narrow second favourite, and one time top fancy, is then another market mover Chivalry ($5 into $4.20).
The Mark Kavanagh-trained son of Street Cry has the inside alley today with Glen Boss to ride the Caulfield Guineas graduate from barrier one.
In the Group 1 over the Caulfield mile last time out Chivalry ran fifth to Shooting To Win beaten 3.5 lengths but has winning form at Moonee Valley that he’ll be looking to repeat back at the track today.
The third runner that could firm into favouritism before jump is then the Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-trained filly Go Indy Go ($6 into $4.60).
Winner of the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in Sydney during April, this daughter of Bernardini has handled the boys before at elite level then.
Her form this time in hasn’t been as good however including a below-par seventh to Amicus in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11 that she’ll be out to atone for here.
Also at single figures are then the likes of Moonovermanhattan ($6.50) who is a genuine threat from the outside alley following a luckless seventh in the Caulfield Guineas, the Danny O’Brien-trained War Pass colt Bondeiger ($9) after his third win on the trot and Michael Kent’s UCI Stakes fifth placegetter San Padre ($9).
Check out the updated Moonee Valley Vase odds below then visit Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in your selections at the best price and clean up ahead of today’s major – the Cox Plate at 5:40pm (AEDT).