Danny O’Brien’s local four-year-old De Little Engine has opened clear favourite in the 2015 Bagot Handicap field and betting odds to win his fourth on the trot this spring – summer racing season.
The in-form Encosta De Lago gelding is one of 13 remaining hopefuls in this Thursday’s $150,000 Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) field at Flemington Racecourse following the early scratching of #10 Great Lane.
Drawn out wide in barrier 10 for jockey James Winks, the up-and-comer will carry 54.5kg for his maiden black-type run this time in.
De Little Engine was last seen winning over 2540m here on December 20 with Winks aboard on 57.5kg in a benchmark 84 run that saw him go straight to the fence from the inside alley, settle well and force himself into the clear on the straight.
Tactics to get back and settle will be the same here but he’ll have to do it from a wider draw.
The Flemington victory followed early wins at Sandown-Hillside and Ballarat, his New Year’s Day assignment his first stakes run since failing in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) at the track back in April.
He over-raced that day and was badly beaten when 12 lengths away fifth to the winner Order Of The Sun, a run he’s matured from since and should be improving on notably here.
The bookies certainly believe that’s the case with De Little Engine heading the Bagot Handicap betting markets at a firm $2.80 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
He is followed in the odds by Auberge at $5.50, a Craig Williams’ mount drawn in barrier five.
John O’Shea’s four-year-old Street Cry gelding won over 2400m at Rosehill two back before debuting at Flemington on December 20 with a fifth, beaten two and a quarter lengths, behind De Little Engine.
He too is up in class then with the bookies tipping the form coming out of that handicap clash.
The two other single figure fancies in the Bagot Handicap odds are then Cadillac Mountain ($6) after his third win on the trot and the 60kg top weight Hurdy Gurdy Man ($9) who is the market mover in from $10.
Peter Moody’s Reset four-year-old Cadillac Moutain carries 56kg from gate nine here with Stephen Baster staying on after the pair won the Listed Werribee Classic (2635m) on December 14.
Before that the horse won over 2000m at the same track, Saturday seeing him go up from 54kg last time out by two kilos.
Hurdy Gurdy Man meanwhile gets the inside run along the fence from barrier one here with John Allen to ride Darren Weir’s Street Cry seven-year-old.
The stallion also had the 60kg big weight in the Werribee Classic last time out when third, beaten just a quarter length by Cadillac Mountain.
The other best fancied runners to take out the Bagot Handicap tomorrow are then Ararat Cup – Ballarat Cup double winner Mujadale ($11) coming off a fifth in the Werribee Classic, the widely-drawn Stratum mare Averau ($11) coming off a nice second just a nose off the Werribee Classic winner and the Archie Alexander-trained OTI-raced import Martinvast ($16).
See below for the complete Bagot Handicap 2015 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and fixed win odds you can lock in now online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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