In an open market for a race offering a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption to the winner, the Robert Hickmott-trained import The United States is current favourite to take out Saturday’s Naturalism Stakes 2015 in Melbourne.
Racing at 4:45pm (AEST) as Caulfield Race 8, this year’s Naturalism Stakes is known as the $150,000 Group 3 Bendigo Bank East Malvern MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) and a full field of 16 will line up at jump time.
First emergency Ethiopia ($81) gains a run in the starting 16 as a roughie in Naturalism Stakes betting after the early scratching of Banca Mo, with markets led by the Lloyd Williams-owned Galileo stallion The United States ($4.20).
Drawn wide in gate 12 the well weighted 54kg lightweight has Damian Lane aboard for the third straight time, his two lead-up runs producing a win and a second over 1500m and 1600m respectively at Moonee Valley over the past four weeks.
Following the in-form import in the Naturalism Stakes odds this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival are five other hopes under $10 including Sertorius ($5.50) and early market mover Magnapal ($6).
Sertorius (57.5kg) looked good racing fresh despite a 10th place finish when under three lengths off Boban in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) first-up at the track last time out and will only improve off that.
The Jamie Edwards-trained eight-year-old has a pretty solid second-up record (7-2-1-3) and will also appreciate getting back-up in distance here as he shoots for his first win since the Group 3 Easter Cup at the same track over the same metres back in April.
Magnapal is another 54kg hope, the six-year-old in flying form with back-to-back Victorian wins leading up to this class test including the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) with the same kilos and same hoop (Luke Currie) from the end of August.
The others at single figures are Kapour ($7) with the outside barrier to overcome here, Bold Sniper ($8) and the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained topweight on 60kg Our Ivanhowe ($8.50) who is an early fancy in the upcoming Spring Cups markets.
Ciaron Maher’s Winter Cup winner and Grafton Cup runner-up Kapour comes off a third to Magic Hurricane in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) in Sydney, the winner of that race the early favourite for Friday’s Newcastle Gold Cup.
Bold Sniper is prepared by David Hayes & Tom Dabernig, the New Approach gelding out to improve on a Heatherlie Handicap eighth last time out in his Australian race debut.
Fellow import Our Ivanhowe has also had just the one run down under, the former German-trained son of Soldier Hollow finishing mid-field in a Group 3 in Adelaide over the mile back in May.
Other notable Naturalism Stakes runners at juicer odds for the upset include the rails-drawn Taiyoo ($13) for Darren Weir who is a dual winner at this distance boasting winning form up to 2600m, another Lindsay Park import Almoonqith ($15) and Nigel Blackiston’s Red Ransom mare Let’s Make Adeal ($15).
Check out the full Naturalism Stakes 2015 odds below, fixed win betting open online now for the Group 3 as well as futures markets for the Caulfield Cup back at the track over more distance next month through Ladbrokes.com.au!