12 middle-distance runners will line up in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown Racecourse on Saturday, offering punters a variety of betting options and chances to back a winner.
The Eclipse Stakes is one of nine black-type races that make up Zipping Classic Day, which is the final meeting of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival. The odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have only just gone live, with seven of the horses offering single figure odds.
Pheidon and Escado are co-favourites in the fixed odds market at the moment, each offering $5 to win, followed by Sonntag ($6), Rhythm To Spare and Tristam’s Sun ($6.50), Zabisco ($9), and By The Grace ($9.50).
Both Pheidon (11) and Escado (12) will jump from wide barriers in the 2014 Eclipse Stakes but there form and race history more than makes up for that.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Pheidon won the City Jeep Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 before a fast finish in the tough Listed James Boag’s Premium Stakes (1800m) on Melbourne Cup Day saw the gelding finish just a neck off Atacama in third place.
Matt Laurie’s Escado doesn’t have the best form from his four spring starts but the class of his races means he should be a contender for the Eclipse Stakes. He just missed out on a placing in the Listed Sofitel (1400m) first up, finding the line very well in his first effort of the season. He found the line well once again in the Listed Tavern Stakes (1400m) after getting caught out wide.
The five-year-old gelding then made the step up to Group One racing in his next two starts – the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m). Despite finishing midfield in both, he ran really well considering the company.
All in all his performances have been great and he’s unlucky to have missed the placings in all four. Perhaps Escado will end his spring campaign with a win in the Eclipse Stakes.
The Henry Dwyer-trained Sonntag is one of only two last start winners after winning the Listed Sale Cup (1600m) on October 26. He trumps his rivals in terms of class after taking out the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) back in June.
Tristam’s Sun is the other last start winner after taking out the Kyneton Cup (2000m) by two lengths on November 5. The Robbie Laing-trained gelding will jump from barrier six with Vlad Duric as jockey.
Like Escado, Rhythm To Spare could outclass his rivals on Saturday after three consecutive Group One starts during his spring campaign. His best performance was in the Toorak Handicap, finishing just 1½ lengths off the winner Trust In A Gust in fifth place. The gelding was last on the fence early before taking splits through the field and with any luck could have challenged late.
The prices for all 12 runners will surely fluctuate over the coming days so place your bets on the 2014 Eclipse Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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