Henry Dwyer’s second favourite to take out the upcoming Group 1 Australian Guineas Lucky Liberty leads the early markets as narrow favourite for Saturday’s CS Hayes Stakes 2015 at Flemington Racecourse on Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Day.
The Statue Of Liberty gelding pays $9 in the futures odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to win the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) back at Flemington on March 7 trailing only Shooting To Win ($8) who resumes in Sydney on Saturday in the $200,000 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m).
Lucky Liberty is even shorter to win his latest start and successfully defend his undefeated record when he makes his black type debut in the $150,000 Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m).
Originally the colts-and-geldings’ clash attracted 14 final acceptors but Chris Waller has withdrawn Kermadec who instead takes on Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win in the Hobartville in his home state.
That leaves 13 hopes for the Melbourne showdown where Lucky Liberty will jump from barrier 11 of 13 with Michelle Payne in the saddle for the fourth time in as many runs.
Last time out the duo won over 1420m at Flemington on January 31 in a Benchmark 78, the same track and distance as Saturday’s acid test.
Hot on Lucky Liberty’s heels are then equal $5.50 second picks Disposition and Stratum Star drawn in barriers three and 10 respectively.
Wez Hunter’s Reset gelding Disposition has won four of his six starts, and run second in the other two, but all have been over in Perth for his old trainer.
He’s now trained in Victoria and makes his Melbourne debut in the CS Hayes running for the first time since his brave second to Waller’s Moriarty in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot back on December 6 last year.
The Darren Weir-trained Stratum Star meanwhile has a wider barrier on Saturday but is an ultra-consistent galloper who has run top two in his past seven runs.
The Stratum colt won back-to-back Listed races in October over 1400m, including the Gothic Stakes on Caulfield Cup Day, before going up in class in November.
He ran second firstly to Kermadec in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Derby Day then travelled to Sandown on November 15 for another second this time behind Petrology in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m).
His latest start was back at Sandown first-up on February 7 for a second to Profit Share over 1300m, a run he’s tipped to improve on when back up over a distance he’s won two of his three previous starts over.
The last of the single figure CS Hayes Stakes hopefuls is then Minnesinger in the outside barrier for jockey James Winks.
Prepared locally by Lee & Anthony Freedman the Lonhro colt is at $9.50 to win his third on the trot after a January win at Kilmore over this distance and then his mile success against easier company at the start of the month.
Also of note at juicer odds but with claims for a top three run are the likes of Mark Kavanagh’s Caulfield Guineas fifth placed Street Cry colt Chivalry ($10), last Saturday’s Group 2 Autumn Stakes winner at Caulfield San Nicasio ($10), the Gai Waterhouse-trained Caulfield Guineas third placed Wandjina ($11) and Michael Moroney’s O’Reilly gelding Merion ($15).
Check out the full CS Hayes Stakes 2015 odds below, betting open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% markets on the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning at the Melbourne meet on Saturday!