The Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival action kicks up a notch for Blue Diamond Stakes Day on Saturday, tips for the Peter Young Stakes 2015 on the Caulfield program found below.
Running as race six at 4:35pm (AEDT), this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Crown Golden Ale Peter Young Stakes (1800m) field features 13 weight-for-age hopefuls.
Peter Young Stakes betting odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are still led by the Kris Lees-trained German import Protectionist although the reigning Melbourne Cup winner is on the drift out from $3.90 to $4.20.
Lees has been vocal about his concerns over the champion stayer performing first-up over 1800m, Protectionist having had just two previous runs under 2000m.
He ran first (1600m) and second (1700m) in those but could be ready for more distance already this time in when kicking off his first full preparation in Australia, and his maiden campaign since being transferred into Lees’ care.
Last year Gai Waterhouse’s returning Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente handled the 1800m and won the Peter Young Stakes before backing up the next month for the Australian Cup victory over 2000m at Flemington.
That’s a treble the Newcastle-based Lees is looking to repeat with the Australian Bloodstock-owned Monsun stallion Protectionist who races at Caulfield for the first time since his Australian debut when a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) last October.
The main dangers in the latest Peter Young Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are then Mackinnon Stakes winner Happy Trails ($5) after his fourth Group 1 success, last month’s Group 2 Australia Stakes winner Mourinho ($7.50), the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained improver Spillway ($7.50) and Darren Weir’s market mover Akzar ($9).
So should your money be on one of the favourites or is there more value further down the markets from the likes of Perth Cup winner Real Love ($11) or even the returning Peter Moody-trained import Au Revoir ($21)?
#2 Happy Trails ($5)
Trainer Paul Beshara says this three-time Group 1 winner is flying and we believe him. Has been way over the odds so many times before and often surprises when knocking off some of racing’s big guns to get the three elite levels on his record. Shorter in the markets this time and think the Good Journey seven-year-old will be improving on his first-up CF Orr Stakes sixth over 1400m here a fortnight ago. Extra metres will suit better, has class, won the Mackinnon over 2000m last run of the spring and will get a good run from eight with top hoop Damien Oliver aboard once again.
#1 Protectionist ($4.20)
Don’t think there will be much in it, and we could be wrong tipping against the favourite, but 1800m is a definite query for this champion stayer even in the eyes of his new trainer. His work and pre-season trials have been impressive, handled Caulfield well in the Herbert Power on debut down under, Craig Williams is back aboard – so there is lots to like. The easing price is justified however as the distance is likely short of his best even when resuming, and really needs to get the right run to win.
#8 Au Revoir ($21)
Value galore for the exotics, and while this Peter Moody-trained French import is out wide in 11, sticking with the five-year-old. Ran third in his first start on Aussie soil in the Group 2 MV Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day then eighth in the Melbourne Cup. Backed up in easier company to win over 2400m in the Sandown Classic. Hasn’t won under that distance before but should be going well enough for a place.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change