Gai Waterhouse’s Epsom Handicap hopeful Ecuador is red hot favourite to win second-up this afternoon at Newcastle Racecourse in the Cameron Handicap 2015.
The High Chaparral six-year-old is the big market mover and top fancy at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $150,000 Group 3 Strathayr Cameron Handicap (1500m), the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival lead-up running as Newcastle Race 6 at 4:00pm (AEST) on Newcastle Gold Cup Day.
There are 10 gallopers left in the mix for this year’s Cameron Handicap after three early scratchings with last year’s winner Hooked, and the Chris Waller-trained duo of I’m Imposing and Sadler’s Lake all coming out of the line-up.
Eucador is now the red hot $2.20 favourite backed in from $4.40 for Joshua Parr to ride to victory from barrier five, the galloper looking to add to his impressive second-up record (4-2-1-0).
Last time out at Randwick on September 5 he ran a brave second when a half-length off Hooked in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m), and a Cameron Handicap win for the punters will see him continue onto the $1 million Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) back at Royal Randwick on October 3.
Futures Epsom Handicap odds have Eucador installed as a $41 outsider, Hooked taking out the Cameron 12 months ago before his brave third behind the Waller-trained import He’s Your Man in the Group 1 over the mile next time out.
Four of the other remaining Cameron Handicap hopefuls are also under $10 for a win in the feature this afternoon including Flamingo Star ($5) who has ace Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman staying aboard.
The Waller-trained Areion stallion was well beaten in the Tramway when 12th of 14 runners but is tipped to improve up over more distance.
Last prep his improvement from first to second-up was very sharp and if he can do that again this season is a definite chance.
The other single figure chances are Best Case ($7), the rails-drawn Sense Of Occasion ($8) and the in-form Forget ($9).
Anthony Cummings trains Savabeel five-year-old Best Case who is out to improve on a seventh to Decision Time in the Show County last time out.
There were excuses for that luckless run and second-up last prep the galloper improved notably to run a good fourth to Rock Sturdy under two lengths away over the same 1500m distance in Group 2 company.
Sense Of Occasion represents Joe Pride and was on fire over the winter including a Listed McKell Cup (2400m) in the wet at Randwick before his devastatingly close second to Jetset Lad in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) in early June.
His return was a mediocre 11th in the Tramway but he’ll get a soft run from the gate this afternoon so can’t be ruled out completely.
Forget has a wider draw out in 10 for jockey Kerrin McEvoy to overcome, the Kim Waugh-trained Exceed And Excel six-year-old from Wyong having won over 1400m at Randwick two back before his second to Sadler’s Lake when carrying 60kg last time out.
He’ll appreciate the drop back the 54kg minimum this weekend and has previous experience at the track.
Check out the complete Cameron Handicap 2015 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and current Fixed Win odds in the table below – prices provided by the country’s leading sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au who will also match your first deposit dollar for dollar up to $700 with use of the exclusive code word SPRINGBONUS!