Chris Waller’s returning mare Winx has opened top of 2015 Theo Marks Stakes betting for one of the support acts on the Rosehill race card in Sydney on Saturday.
The Street Cry four-year-old was last seen winning back-to-back Queensland races during the winter and is first-up having won two of her previous three resuming runs in the $200,000 Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) on Golden Slipper Day.
A super consistent force so far Winx has won six of her 12 starts most recently in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben on May 30 and was also second in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick back in April.
She has won two from three at Rosehill but is yet to win over 1300m, which hasn’t stopped her from opening as the $4 top fancy in betting from barrier 11 with James McDonald riding her on 54.5kg.
John O’Shea’s progressive Exceed And Excel five-year-old Vashka is the next best in betting and is one of three other single-figure hopes in the markets.
The gelding has won six of his 13 starts to date and comes into Saturday’s race undefeated at the track.
To date Vashka, who pays $4.80 as the firming favourite in from $6 in the latest Theo Marks Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, has won four from four at Rosehill Gardens – an imposing record as he prepares to take on a capacity field in the handicap clash.
The early scratching of the widely-drawn Vezalay sees first emergency Turbulent Jet ($34) gain a start from the outside alley with apprentice Winona Costin in the saddle.
He remains one of the genuine outsiders in Theo Marks Stakes betting though along with Decision Time and Aomen who are also both on $34 and who both ran sixth in their lead-up runs.
Vezalay ran third first-up last time out on August 22 behind the Clarry Conners-trained Decision Time, who went on to finish sixth in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) just last Saturday, in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick.
The other two runners under $10 for the win are Messene ($6) and Strawberry Boy ($9) drawn in barriers two and five respectively.
Tommy Berry rides the Team Hawkes-trained Lonhro seven-year-old Messene, the veteran last seen running third to Royal Descent in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) three weeks ago.
Along with the favourite Winx, Waller also prepares Strawberry Boy who Jim Cassidy jumps aboard on the weekend, the fellow seven-year-old having won back-to-back stakes races at Doomben last prep.
Other livewire Theo Marks Stakes chances at more generous prices this weekend through Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on all the even Randwick races on Saturday include Amanpour ($11), Ninth Legion ($12) and Heart Testa ($14).
Hong Kong-based jockey Brett Prebble is down under for the 2015 Golden Rose ride on Gai Waterhouse’s filly Speak Filly in the Group 1 and has also picked up the Theo Marks ride on Northern Meteor mare Amanpour.
The five-year-old is drawn in barrier eight carrying 57.5kg and is first-up, with a first-up record of three seconds from four runs, having won the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last time out on April 11.
Ninth Legion has the rails run from barrier one and is also first-up here, the Fastnet Rock six-year-old’s last start being a second to Neo in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on Anzac Day carrying 60.5kg.
He is sure to appreciate the drop back to 57kg on the weekend while Heart Testa gets in on 55.5kg, Waller’s other runner second-up here on the back of a fourth in the Show County.
The full Theo Marks Stakes 2015 odds are found below, fixed win prices open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!