The ever exciting Melbourne Cup Carnival will come to a close for another year on Saturday, ending with Stakes Day, the feature race of which is the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
A maximum field of 16 entires and geldings are set to contest the 2014 Emirates Stakes, after the sole emergency Spy Decoder was scratched Friday morning.
The betting for the Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au is very much consistent, with Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) winner Contributer the favourite at $5. He is followed by Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) winner Lucky Hussler, who got as low as $3.5 before his price lengthened out to $7.
However, the favourite has only won the Emirates Stakes six times since 1983 which indicates Contributer could be in trouble come Saturday if he continues to sit atop the betting market. Boban overcame the favourites hoodoo last year; can the John O’Shea-trained entire do it again this year?
Check out our betting tips for the race below to get an idea of who to back in this maximum-field race.
#5 Hooked ($7)
Hooked is the horse to beat in the 2014 Emirates Stakes, offering a great price for punters. The four-year-old was far too good last time out in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m), which he won 1¾ lengths clear after running a good pace off the inside to lead before working his way to be the outside lead. The entire took the front at 300m to go and went home for a strong win. That win came off a minor placing in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m), in which he ran an honest race for third, as well as a win in the Group 3 Cameron Stakes (1500m). Will get a great start from barrier four which has good tactical speed.
#2 The Cleaner ($13)
The Mick Burles-trained gelding loves to lead, and a start from barrier six means he won’t have to work hard to find the front, likely being the one the others have to catch. Despite finishing ninth last time out in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), The Cleaner was just 3½ lengths off the winner and continued to box on into the straight. He’ll enjoy the trip back down to the mile after taking out the Jeep Handicap and Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) over the same distance earlier in the spring.
#11 Bull Point ($7.50)
The Chris Waller-trained four-year-old has been consistent in his four campaign starts this spring despite not winning. However this could work in his favour for the Emirates Stakes since only one last winner has won since 2000, which means this race could be his time. He has the ability to win the third Stakes for Waller in four years having finished strong around the likes of Terravista, Trust In A Gust, and Cluster so far. However he’ll need to beat home Hooked, who already got the better of Bull Point last time out in the Crystal Mile.
Take advantage of the Ladbrokes.com.au Lay of the Week in the Emirates Stakes this Saturday. The online bookmaker is offering $6 for both Hooked and Hucklebuck. If one of them wins, you collect! Seeing as Hooked is our first pick to win the race, this is a great offer.