A small yet classy field of nine sprinters will line-up at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Saturday in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m), offering punters a range of betting options.
More than half the field is offering single figure odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, led by odds-on favourite Dissident at $1.95.
The Peter Moody-trained horse is a three-time Group One winner, which puts him leagues ahead of the rest of the field in terms of class.
While the four-year-old’s spring campaign was cut short after bleeding in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), he had already found enough success to make the season worthwhile.
Dissident won the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) first up as well as the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m). He has beaten just a nose by Trust In A Gust in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Charity Cup (1400m) but the valiant second place run earned the horse a spot in the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.
The four-year-old will jump from barrier seven with Ben Melham in the saddle for the fifth consecutive time.
Dissident may be the firm favourite to win the 2015 Australia Stakes but he faces some stiff competition from the other eight runners – four of which have single figure odds.
- #9 Tudor ($6) – Doug Harrison’s three-year-old colt is the only runner set to carry 55kg, which is three and a half kilos less than the rest of the field. Tudor has a solid track & distance record (3:1-1-0) and was runner-up in the VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m) last time out. Tudor will jump from barrier four with Craig Williams to ride.
- #5 Hard Stride ($6.50) – The Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained gelding is in good form having finished in the first three in all five of his past starts. After winning the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 The Heath 1000 (1100m) in August, Hard Stride was spelled for the rest of the spring, returning with a minor placing in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) on January 10. Will have to overcome a wide start from barrier eight.
- #7 Richie’s Vibe ($6.50) – the defending champion of the Australia Stakes has returned to reclaim his title but his recent form has punters wary. With just three starts since last year’s race, all of which were unplaced, he’s not in the best pre-race form. Richie’s Vibe suffered a hamstring injury last time out in August but trainer Paul Beshara is confident he’s back to peak fitness. Will get an ideal start from barrier three with Damien Oliver as jockey.
- #4 It Is Written ($9) – Robbie Griffith’s gelding is the market mover of the field, having seen his price shorten from $11 to $9. It Is Written was third in last year’s race and won a Moonee Valley Handicap over the same distance last time out in December.
Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) winner Mourinho was a late entry for the 2015 Australia Stakes, offering punters great value at $34. The Peter Gelagotis-trained gelding will jump from barrier five with Vlad Duric to ride on his first test over 1200 metres.
Check out the live market odds available at Ladbrokes.com.au below. With Best Tote or SP + 20% bonus available on the race, you’ll receive an additonal 20% on your winnings!