Caulfield Racecourse will play host to three Group One races today (Saturday), making it one of the busiest days during the autumn carnival.
One of those races is the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), due to kick-off at 2:35pm (local time), which has attracted a small but top-notch field of eight sprint-mile runners.
Race favourite Dissident has continued to see his price shorten since betting opened at Ladbrokes.com.au, firming to $1.60 in the past couple of days.
The Peter Moody-trained four-year-old is in search of his fifth Group One race title this afternoon and the 2015 Futurity Stakes seems tailor-made for him. Dissident has finished first two in all five of his starts over 1400m and has placed in five of his outings to Caulfield. He returns to the same race conditions that he won over just two weeks ago.
Dissident justified his odds in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 14, jumping smartly away before settling nicely in fourth place, one out and one back, behind a moderate pace. He switched deep on straightening, sprinting quickly from the 200m mark, and went on to win decisively.
Gai Waterhouse’s tough mare Driefontein has firmed to $5.50 second favourite after getting as wide as $7. The five-year-old will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one as she continues on her lengthy campaign that began back in October. Driefontein comes full circle this afternoon, returning to Caulfield where it all began in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m). Since then the mare has travelled to Sydney, Queensland, back to Sydney, and finally returns back to Melbourne today.
Driefontein is deserving of a win after running a very close second her past two times out but it’s hard to see her beating home Dissident in the 2015 Futurity Stakes.
The other mare running in the race – Suavito – has also seen a push from the market after her opening price of $16 shortened to $13. The Nigel Blackiston-trained four-year-old is set to resume in the Futurity after winning back-to-back at the end of spring in the Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m). Suavito has a great record over the track and distance (4:2-1-1) but it remains to be seen whether she have what it takes to win a Group One race first-up.
The remaining five runners have all seen their odds lengthen in the betting market following lack of support from punters.
Entirely Platinum opened as $6 second favourite but has eased out to $9 in the past couple of days while Bull Point has lengthened straight out of single digits ($8.50 to $15).
Team Hawkes’ Entirely Platinum ran second to Dissident in the CF Orr Stakes two weeks ago and has won four of his six starts over 1400m, so he seems like a lucrative bet. Chris Waller’s Bull Point was last seen running a strong fifth in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) on the same day, just one and a half lengths behind winner Heart Testa.
Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) winner Smokin’ Joey’s odds have remained fairly constant, hovering around the $14 mark, while resuming horse Guest Of Honour has drifted from $16 to $21.
Norman Waymouth’s Mister Milton opened as the $41 roughie but has since lengthened even wider out to odds of $126. The six-year-old horse has only won one of his 15 starts at Caulfield and failed to win any of his 15 starts over the trip.
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