Japanese raider and Queen Elizabeth Stakes favourite To The World has opened top of the odds to win his Australian debut this weekend in Sydney’s The BMW 2015 at Rosehill Gardens.
A final field of a dozen weight-for-age champs is engaged to face off in Saturday’s $1.5 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m), markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival classic led by the Yasutoshi Ikee-trained To The World.
One of a host of stars from Japan making an assault in Sydney this autumn, the King Kamehameha four-year-old races for the first time since his brave second to super stayer Gentildonna in the Group 1 Arima Kinen (2500m) back home in late December.
The stallion has finished out of the top two just twice in his impressive 10-start career to date, ace form the bookies are tipping him to continue down under starting with The BMW on Saturday.
To The World leads The BMW betting at a current quote of $2.60, in from $2.70, with Nicholas Hall to ride the raider from barrier six.
The horse is also the $3.80 favourite in the futures markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick during The Championships next month.
Hot on his heels in the markets for Saturday’s lead-up is then the in-form John O’Shea-trained import Hartnell ($3.60) drawn ideally in barrier three for jockey James McDonald.
While on paper barrier three looks a gun The BMW draw, it hasn’t produced a winner in the past 30 years.
Godolphin’s Authorzied four-year-old has had two runs down under this autumn including his first-up second to stablemate Contributer in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on February 28.
His last start was on March 14 here at Rosehill when breaking his maiden status in Australia with a two length win over Opinion in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m).
The only other single figure chance in the latest The BMW odds is then smart mare Lucia Valentina at $9.
Drawn in gate two, which last produced a The BMW winner in 2011 with Cedarberg, the Kris Lees-trained daughter of Savabeel shoots for her third Group 1 trophy.
Winner of the 2014 Vinery Stud Stakes and Turnbull Stakes, the four-year-old has had three runs this time in.
Third to Admire Rakti in last year’s Caulfield Cup, Lucia Valentina’s most recent run was just last Saturday when third to Contriubter in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
She’s on the short back-up but should appreciate the extra metres having finished third in both of her previous runs over Saturday’s distance as she looks to go back-to-back for the mares after the win of Silent Achiever 12 months ago.
The next best in The BMW betting for this year are then reigning Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist ($10) and classy New Zealand-trained mare Rising Romance ($14) drawn wide in barriers 12 and 10 respectively before the markets open up.
The second runner in the race for the Newcastle-based Lees, German import Protectionist is after his first win since taking out the world’s richest handicap over the two miles at Flemington last November.
A five-year-old Monsun stallion, he has had two unplaced runs over unsuitably short distances this autumn including a last start eighth to Spillway in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 14.
He is set to appreciate the step up to the mile and a half this weekend then with Craig Williams, who rode Littorio to victory in the 2010 The BMW, retaining the ride.
Donna Logan’s Ekraar mare Rising Romance meanwhile was runner-up in the Caulfield Cup over this distance in Melbourne during the spring and comes off a second to Scratchy Bottom when returning down under in the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill last weekend.
See below for the full The BMW 2015 odds, fixed win betting open online at Ladbrokes.com.au who are the only bookie offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on your winnings for the Sydney Group 1 this weekend!