Following the scratching of defending champion Richie’s Vibe from the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) due to a bout of colic, the betting market for the race at Ladbrokes.com.au has seen a fair bit of movement.
Just eight sprinters will line-up in the 2015 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Saturday but that doesn’t mean it won’t be an enthralling race.
Three-time Group One winner Dissident has firmed to $1.80 favourite, to no one’s surprise. Since the Australia Stakes is a weight-for-age race, the four-year-old horse will carry the same weight as all runners except Tudor.
The Peter Moody-trained horse is set to resume racing after a bleed during the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) in October saw him banned for three months, cutting his campaign short. However with a two Group One victories in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) along with a second placing in the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Charity Cup (1400m), Dissident still had a fortuitous season.
The Robbie Griffiths-trained It Is Written was third to Richie’s Vibe in last year’s Australia Stakes and has an affinity with the Moonee Valley circuit. While he doesn’t stand a chance at beating Dissident in a weight-for-age race, he could certainly finish in either second or third place.
Doug Harrison’s Tudor is the only runner carrying less than 58.5kg. The three-year-old colt will carry 55kg and jump from barrier three with Craig Williams to ride.
Hard Stride has finished in the first three in all five of his past starts and resumed strongly in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) on January 10, running just half a length behind winner The Quaterback in third place.
Wez Hunter’s Smokin’ Joey saw his price firm to as low as $13 but has since drifted out to $17. The seven-year-old gelding had little luck during the spring, finishing outside the placings in all four of his starts. A trip to Perth during the summer looked to rejuvenate the gelding but he finished fourth in both the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Smokin’ Joey will enjoy an inside jump from barrier two.
The Peter Gelagotis-trained Mourinho was a late entry for the 2015 Australia Stakes after a successful jumpout on Monday morning. The seven-year-old gelding opened as a $51 outside bet along with Blackie and Audino but has since seen his price firm to $34.
While Mourinho enjoyed the best campaign of his career during the spring, the gelding has yet to be tested over 1200 metres.
Check out the fixed-price betting market for the Australia Stakes below to pick your winning horse. Ladbrokes.com.au is giving punters a little extra this Saturday. Simply bet with the Best Tote or SP + 20% market to receive an additional 20% on top of your winnings!