This weekend in Melbourne two Group 3 features headline the Caulfield race card including the How Now Stakes 2015 for the mares, betting tips and the latest odds for which can be found below.
Due to run as Caulfield Race 7 at 4:05pm (AEST) there are 15 female gallopers in the mix for the How Now Stakes, known as the $150,000 Group 3 William Hill Sprint Series Heat 2 Stakes (1200m).
Leading an open How Now Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au at a current quote of $4 is the Leon & Troy Corstens-trained four-year-old Vezalay drawn in barrier 10 with Damien Oliver to ride.
Oliver retains the ride on the daughter of Shamardal having been aboard for her close sixth when only three-quarters of a length off the winner Amicus in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington only last Saturday on the back of a Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) third at Caulfield in late August.
The next best in the How Now Stakes odds are Hazard ($6.50) with the outside alley for her and jockey Ben Melham to overcome, and Wawail and market mover Tycoon Tara both paying $8.50 for the win.
Lee & Anthony Freedman’s Flying Spur six-year-old Hazard has an outstanding Caulfield record of three wins and two seconds from nine previous runs at the track and was runner-up to Madam Gangster in the Cockram last time out from a similarly nasty barrier (16 of 16).
Wawail has fared much better in the How Now Stakes barrier draw jumping from gate four with Michael Walker booked for the ride on the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Lonhro mare.
She makes her four-year-old debut on Saturday, the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) winner at Flemington back in mid-March last seen running ninth when beaten two and a half lengths by Miracles Of Life in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville in early May.
Wawail is undefeated first-up though and the bookies are taking no chances on her making it four-from-four in her latest resuming run on the weekend.
Tycoon Tara has been smashed early by the punters a Ladbrokes, Luke Currie to ride the Symon Wilde-trained five-year-old from barrier 12 who opened at $11 before firming into her current $8.50 price.
Other notable mares in the mix betting wise include David Brideoake’s Group 1 placed Griante ($10), the returning Robert Smerdon-trained Politeness ($10), Jessy Belle ($11) who ran a close fifth in the Cockram last time out and in-form Gold Coast visitor Lesley’s Choice ($12).
So will the favourite salute for the punters or is there an upset How Now Stakes result on the cards this weekend on Naturalism Stakes Day?
#2 Wawail ($8.50)
At this juicy price there is too much to like about the Lindsay Park rep Wawail in this. She is first-up and absolutely flies fresh boasting three previous wins from as many first-up runs. She has class against stronger quality with a Group 3 Vanity Stakes (1400m) third and win in the Group 2 Kenwey Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in the autumn. Her latest run was a ninth in the Robert Sangster but she was beaten only 2.4 lengths at the end of a big prep in Adelaide and at Caulfield back in Melbourne first-up from a gun barrier four draw is the one to beat.
#10 Jessy Belle ($11)
Adding value to the How Now Stakes quinella at double figures is Luke Oliver’s Cockram Stakes graduate, the Rock Of Gibraltar five-year-old beaten just over a length in a blanket finish in the traditional lead-up to Saturday. Before that she won back-to-back winter races down the Flemington straight and think she’ll improve on her latest run.
#14 Vezalay ($4)
Another mare that is simply flying, Vezalay has a wider barrier (10) but if she and jockey Oliver can get across and stay out of trouble she is going to be very hard to hold out even on the short back-up after a sixth in the Let’s Elope. Her late speed is imposing and with a clear run she’ll give them something to chase for sure.
Whether you’re backing or sacking our How Now Stakes 2015 tips for the weekend make sure you have access to the best markets online at Ladbrokes.com.au!