After a number of close calls this time in the John O’Shea-trained Generalife has opened top of the 2014 Festival Stakes odds to win this weekend in Sydney.
The Lonhro gelding is best fancied through Ladbrokes.com.au in the 14-horse field for the $100,000 Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) on Saturday, the middle-distance romp to run as Rosehill Race 6 at 4:25pm.
Drawn ideally in barrier four the Godolphin-owned favourite will have Blake Shinn in the saddle for the first time this prep, the five-year-old coming off a string of good runs over the spring.
Since winning the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) here at Rosehill back in July he’s raced exclusively in Group company with four top four runs since the start of October.
Two back he was a close third when three-quarters of a length off subsequent Emirates Stakes winner Hucklebuck in the Group 3 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Derby Day before his last start second behind Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on November 15.
Gearing up for a big run when out over 1500m for the first time this season, Generalife pays $4.60 through Ladbrokes.com.au and is followed closely by Sir Moments.
Drawn out wider in gate 11 for jockey Timothy Bell, Steven O’Dea’s Brisbane visitor Sir Moments is a $5 chance in the current Festival Stakes odds having won three of his past four starts back in Queensland.
Two of those were during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, including his Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) victory over Liberty’s Choice in May.
This time in he’s had the two runs, the latest of which saw him defeat Aldini by a length over 1400m at the Gold Coast when carrying 59kg.
He’s up in class for his first Sydney run on Saturday but should appreciate the drop back to 56kg.
In a relatively wide open Festival Stakes betting market there are then four other single figure hopes, the third favourite of which is the Chris Waller-trained Strawberry Boy ($7.50) in barrier nine.
Josh Parr retains the ride on Waller’s Redoute’s Choice six-year-old after riding him to a win over Monton first-up in the Listed Ladies Day Cup (1400m) at Hawksbury earlier in the month.
The other hopes under $10 to win are then Strawberry Boy’s fellow last start winning stable mate Heart Testa ($9), 60kg top weight and winner of the race three years ago Monton ($9.50) and Mouro ($9.50) in gate three for Kerrin McEvoy coming off a second to Heart Testa over 1350m at the track a fortnight ago.
Outside of those are a number of other livewire chances at more generous odds including Group 1 Myer Classic fifth placed Snitzel mare Estonian Princess ($11) getting in on the 54kg minimum and jumping from the inside alley with Brent Avdulla aboard.
See below for the full Festival Stakes 2014 odds, fixed win prices open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au where you could enjoy up to $500 in bonus bets to use across four markets of your choice for the weekend!