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While the Hawkes Racing-trained Group 1 performer Chautauqua is the class horse in Saturday’s Rubiton Stakes 2015 at Caulfield Racecourse, at his first run at the track there could be value tipping an upset result with Eloping to beat the odds-on favourite.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Encosta De Lago four-year-old Chautauqua resumes racing in the $200,000 Group 2 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) and is the $1.70 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to defeat his nine rivals.
Last start the 2015 Newmarket Handicap-bound gelding, a race he’s also the favourite to win at Flemington on March 14, finished a brave second to Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) during November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.
That came on the back of two straight wins including the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1400m) in October.
Now he’s after his third win from four resuming runs, but how he handles the Caulfield track he’s never been over before will be key to the Flemington specialist’s chances.
That opens things up, despite what the Rubiton Stakes betting markets show, with the David Pfieffer-trained Northern Meteor mare Atmospherical ($6) and lightweight filly Eloping ($6.50) the next best fancied.
So will there be an upset Rubiton Stakes result or will the favourite salute for the punters at the short odds?
#9 Eloping ($9)
Think there are plenty of boxes being ticked by this Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison-trained filly who gets the run of the race on the rails if she wants it from barrier one. From that gate she and jockey Stephen Baster will be going forward to lead, and with just 52.5kg on her back under the set weights plus penalites conditions she’s a really good chance to go all the way. The Group 3 winning and Group 1 performed daughter of Choisir has a good first-up record (2-1-0-1), runs well at Caulfield (3-2-1-0) – which is the unknown for the too-short favourite – and from her two previous 1100m runs she’s finished runner-up on both occasions.
#1 Chautauqua ($1.70)
No doubt he’ll be hard to beat in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap back down the Flemington straight next month but this highly-rated sprint star could find the turns at Caulfield a bit much to win first-up at that price. Don’t doubt it’ll be a close quinella with jockey Dwayne Dunn to do everything he can to stay in touch with Eloping and barrier three helps. But the conditions see him carry five kilos more than Eloping which could be the difference between first and second past the post.
#7 Atmospherical ($9)
Hard call for third but this is a nice ride for Craig Williams. The four-year-old is drawn midfield in five so has options in the run. She’s won two from three first-up and is an 1100m specialist being undefeated in her four previous starts at the distance. Hasn’t raced at Caulfield before but was on fire during the spring including her black type win at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day, and she’s trialled well in Sydney since.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change
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