With two shorter than him in the Autumn Stakes 2015 betting markets at Caulfield on Saturday, the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Hong Kong Captain looks nice value for the three-year-olds clash in Melbourne.
The Host gelding jumps from the inside alley in the $200,000 Group 2 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) for his fourth career start where he’ll be after his third win.
Nominated for nearly every major race coming up during the Sydney and Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnivals, including the $1 million Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7, Hong Kong Captain pays $6 to win his black type debut on Saturday.
He trails two rivals in the Autumn Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au with markets led by Darren Weir’s recent Sandown winner Profit Share ($4.60) and Manfred Stakes third placed Affirmation ($5.50) in barrier 15.
Also at single figures to win in a field boasting plenty of potential autumn standouts are John O’Shea’s last start Rosehill winning Lonhro colt Sarajevo ($6) with a wide barrier 14 draw to overcome and San Nicasio ($9) for Peter Moody.
So will Hong Kong Captain get the job done? And who will finish behind him in the Autumn Stakes trifecta?
#2 Hong Kong Captain ($6)
Michael Walker rides this lightly raced galloper who has a plethora of autumn options ahead if he continues the way he has been. Has won two of his three starts so far including defeating Profit Share in the VOBIS Gold Star over 1500m at Moonee Valley late last month. Should be flying over 1400m then from the inside barrier after doing it from 13 of 14 with Walker aboard last start. Was impressive then and still on the improve.
#5 Profit Share ($4.60)
Domesday gelding beaten half a length by Hong Kong Captain two back but looking a chance to turn the tables following a tidy two length win at Sandown over 1300m last Saturday. Michelle Payne stays on but he has barrier nine, not one, this time and is on the short turnaround. If he handles the back-up, with a bit of luck he could be first to the line.
#8 Sarajevo ($6)
Sarajevo is a definite place chance, Chad Schofield’s mount capable of a strong sweeping finish but he’ll need to be at his best from the awkward gate. Is classy though with Group 1 form having run sixth in the Golden Rose last season before returning for a first-up win over 1200m at Rosehill on January 31.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change