A field full of talented spring sprinters will line-up in the 2015 McEwen Stakes in Melbourne on Saturday and below are our insider tips on the weight-for-age showdown at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Set to run as the penultimate race on the nine-event Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes Day line-up, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) has 15 hopefuls heading towards the bigger Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival sprints.
Leading McEwen Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at a current quote of $2.20, out from $2, is the Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua drawn wide in barrier 12 with Dwayne Dunn booked for the ride.
The Encosta De Lago five-year-old won the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) two back before a third when beaten just over half a length by Dissident in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 18.
He is first-up this weekend and boasts an outstanding record when fresh with three wins and a second from four previous resuming runs.
While he is yet to race at Moonee Valley or over the 1000m, the $2.39 million earner boasts the class factor and should be right in the mix despite the gate and lack of experience at the track.
Following Chautauqua in the McEwen Stakes odds are the likes of John O’Shea’s early market mover Furnaces ($6.50) who has been backed in early from $9.50 to win first-up at his sixth start, Peter Moody’s The Goodwood winner Flamberge ($7), the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Kuro ($7) drawn well in barrier two and promising mare Sistonic ($8.50).
With a host of livewire hopes and the favourite on the drift, is there an upset McEwen Stakes result on the cards this weekend?
#4 Kuro ($7)
While there’s a Group 1 winning superstar in the mix, think there’s a bit of value in Kuro who has first-up claims here from an ideal barrier two draw. The Denman stallion debuts as a four-year-old here and is a short-distance specialist with the edge over some of these with two wins from two previous 1000m runs. His last start was in late May in Brisbane’s Group 2 QTC Cup (1200m) when third to Ball Of Muscle, beaten under half a length. He runs well fresh (3-2-0-1) yet to finish out of the money in a campaign kick-off so could surprise in his first run for his new stable.
#14 Furnaces ($6.50)
The money is coming hard and fast for Godolphin’s Exceed And Excel colt who has won two from five to date, most recently in the mud at Randwick in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) on the back of a Golden Slipper sixth when beaten only two lengths in the world’s richest race for juveniles. He is yet to race in Melbourne and how he handles the other way of going is key to his chances here, but a barrier trial win at home leading up to his return and a nice barrier three draw getting in on 52k under WFA puts him right in the mix against the older horses.
#1 Chautauqua ($2.20)
A smart favourite with an ultra-consistent record of six wins, five seconds and a third from 14 starts to date. Among those was the Group 1 TJ Smith in Sydney during the autumn and also some nice Melbourne form including a second in the Darley Classic at Flemington last Cup Carnival. He has the class factor and will be better up over 1100m, but will still be hard to beat here at WFA, the draw is the concern though.
Get behind our McEwen Stakes 2015 betting tips or back your own selections online now through Ladbrokes.com.au and on race day 40 minutes before jump enjoy Best Tote or SP + 20% on every Moonee Valley and Randwick race!