A host of smart middle distance gallopers off in the Ajax Stakes 2015 at Rosehill Racecourse on Saturday including Helen Page’s Doncaster Mile hopeful Rudy.
There are 13 original entries for this year’s $175,000 Group 1 Ajax Stakes (1500m) the quality handicap clash one of four Group 2 support races on the Coolmore Classic Day card in Sydney this weekend.
Ajax Stakes nominations are extended until 11am (AEDT) on Tuesday, but of the current hopes in the mix Red Dazzler four-year-old Rudy looks one of the most exciting.
He heads towards The Championships in April with the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 in his sights.
In the early Doncaster Mile betting odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Rudy pays around $21 to win, markets led by the likes of John Thompson’s Flight Stakes winning filly First Seal and Japan’s World Ace.
A winner of two of his past three starts, Rudy won the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last December before returning with a nice first-up second in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on February 28.
He’s yet to race at Rosehill but his second-up record of three wins and a second from four runs is outstanding form heading into the Ajax Stakes.
Another $21 Doncaster Mile hope running in the Ajax this weekend is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet.
A four-year-old Vespone stallion from France, the imported galloper has won four of his 11 starts to date and has had three official runs down under.
He won the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) at his second run in the country last November but needs to improve on a first-up ninth in the Liverpool City Cup this weekend when up over the 1500m again.
The next best Ajax entry in the early Doncaster odds paying $26 is then the John O’Shea-trained San Diego for Godolphin.
Exceed And Excel four-year-old San Diego has won three from nine to date including his only previous Rosehill run when resuming off a year break to take out a Benchmark 85 over 1350m here on February 21.
Ninth Legion for Team Hawkes meanwhile is the highest rated of the Ajax Stakes entries, the Fastnet Rock five-year-old having run second two back behind stablemate Contributer in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m).
He then backed up in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) but was this time beaten two and a half lengths by the same horse, Contributer, in the Group 1 a fortnight back.
Also high up the ratings are the likes of Liverpool City Cup fourth placed Snitzel gelding Malavio and recent Chester Manifold Stakes winner Red Excitement.
Other notable hopes include Canberra Cup runner-up from Sunday Burbero, and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained mare Mahara coming off a third to Coolmore Classic hope Danesiri in the Group 3 Guy Walter Stakes.
When it comes to having a punt on the Ajax Stakes 2015 field, due out on Wednesday, make sure you get the guaranteed best price by betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $250 free bonus bet offer this season!
2015 Ajax Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Racecourse – 14/03/2015
|1||AOMEN (IRE)||Anthony Cummings||100|
|2||BURBERO (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||99|
|3||COUNT OF LIMONADE (IRE)||Mick Price||95|
|4||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||102|
|5||MAHARA||Peter & Paul Snowden||97|
|7||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||105|
|8||PORNICHET (FR)||Gai Waterhouse||101|
|9||RED EXCITEMENT||Gerald Ryan||101|
|11||SAN DIEGO||John O’Shea||82|
|12||SLOW PACE (USA)||Kris Lees||99|
|13||SPY DECODER (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||80|