Team Hawkes’ last start TJ Smith Stakes winner Chautauqua heads the pre-field 2015 All Aged Stakes odds ahead of the Royal Randwick feature in Sydney this weekend.
The improving Encosta De Lago four-year-old is one of 10 individual Group 1 winners among the 18 nominations taken for the $400,000 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.
Despite the bumper number of early entries, the weight-for-age classic isn’t expected to attract it’s capacity 14-starter field with a host of the nominees far from confirmed final acceptors come Wednesday’s cut-off.
Chautauqua however is a certain starter, the stallion chasing back-to-back Group 1s this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
A winner of over $2.35 million in prize money in his 13 starts to date that have produced six wins and five second place finishes, he broke his Group 1 duck on April 6 at Randwick narrowly defeating Lord Of The Sky in the final stride in the TJ Smith Stakes.
In the past decade four All Aged Stakes winners have come via the TJ Smith Stakes including two Gai Waterhouse-trained runners two years apart to complete the double with Shamekha (20050 and Bentley Biscuit (2007).
Favourites also have an ace All Aged record with six saluting in the past 10 years, most recently All Too Hard (2013).
This year the favourite’s tag belongs to Chautauqua who currently pays $3.20 in the all-in All Aged Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au, despite this being the galloper’s first run over 1400m since a fifth in the Inglis 3YO Guineas last May.
Current second pick in open All Aged Stakes odds, which feature a total of six single-figure hopes, is the Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler ($4.80).
The Husson five-year-old is also, like Chautauqua, a last start Group 1 winner having taken out the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 27.
The William Reid Stakes hasn’t produced an All Aged Stakes winner in the past 30-plus years, however the Melbourne form has stacked up recently in this race with All Too Hard completing the Futurity Stakes – All Aged double just two years ago.
Lucky Hussler has had a dozen previous 1400m runs for two wins and three minor placings, his latest being a win in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last October.
The next best in betting for Saturday’s major are then Shooting To Win ($5) and Terravista ($6).
Peter & Paul Snowden’s impressive Northern Meteor colt Shooting To Win is out to become the third three-year-old in the past four years to beat home his older rivals in the All Aged Stakes.
Winner of the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) over the mile in Melbourne last time in, this season Shooting To Win has also been in top form including a third to Hallowed Crown in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) here on March 7 and a last start fifth behind Japan’s Real Impact in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) a fortnight later.
Joe Pride’s Darley Classic winner from the spring Terravista meanwhile was last seen running third in the TJ Smith Stakes and like the winner of that race must extend his brilliance out to 1400m after a tough run in the wet last time out.
Rounding out Ladbrokes’ single figure All Aged Stakes hopes are then Gai Waterhouse’s Australian Guineas winning Snitzel colt Wandjina ($7.50) and the Peter Moody-trained Sebring four-year-old Dissident ($8.50) last seen running third in the Futurity Stakes over this distance at Caulfield on February 28.
The value bets are currently shaping up to be last year’s beaten favourite Rebel Dane ($13), the John O’Shea-trained General Life ($15) coming off a Group 3 win at Rosehill and Scissor Kick ($17) who was scratched from the Arrowfield 3YO Sprint last Saturday.
Check out the latest futures markets on Saturday’s major, Best Tote or SP + 20% markets for the race to be released only at Ladbrokes.com.au later in the week!