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A small yet top-class field of nine horses will run out a mile at Flemington on Saturday in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m).
Just three of the runners are offering single figure odds in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, led by firm favourite Suavito.
The Nigel Blackiston-trained mare has already seen her opening price of $2.60 shorten to $2.30 following support from punters, despite drawing the second-widest starting gate.
Suavito is in great form, resuming in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on February 28 to win ahead of firm favourite Dissident. The mare settled well into fifth place between runners and improved (three wide with cover) from the 600 metres, switching out at the 300m mark before challenging the leader with 200 metres to go. She drew clear for a smart first-up win, netting her first victory at the highest level of racing along the way.
The mare looked in jeopardy during the spring after failing to leave the barriers in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1400m) on October 4; however it was nothing more than a freak occurrence with the mare running third in the Group 3 Ladies Day Vase (1600m) 11 days later. She then went on to end her campaign with back-to-back wins in the Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m).
Wez Hunter’s Smokin’ Joey will jump from barrier three with Brad Parnham as he vies to continue his winning form. The seven-year-old gelding has been running straight since October with nine starts to his name this campaign.
Smokin’ Joey has been luckess in all seven of his first starts but finally broke his winning hoodoo in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) on February 14. The gelding delivered a smart last-stride win, beating Jacquinot Bay a short half-head. He then backed it up with a runner-up finish in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) two weeks later, battling on well to finish one and a quarter lengths off Suavito.
Guest Of Honour is one of two runners for David Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the Blamey Stakes. The six-year-old horse will jump from barrier four with Dwayne Dunn.
The horse resumed in the Futurity Stakes, finishing midfield in fifth place, which was his first start since failing to finish in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 25.
Punters looking for a lucrative bet should get behind Sertorius quickly since the gelding has already seen his price shorten from $19 to $10 following a big push in the market.
The Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington-trained seven-year-old is set to resume in the Blamey Stakes and has a first-up record of two wins and four placings from nine starts.
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