The first of the four Group races on the Newcastle Cup Day program this afternoon is the Spring Stakes 2015 for three-year-olds where Chris Waller’s in-form Wudang Mountain is the current favourite to win.
Due to jump at 2:45pm (AEST) as Newcastle Race 4, this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Coca-Cola Spring Stakes (1600m) has attracted only seven hopefuls.
Drawn in gate six with big race specialist Hugh Bowman booked for the ride, Waller’s Big Brown colt Wudang Mountain leads the latest Spring Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.60 for the win.
He has won two of his past three starts, the latest of which was a smart half-length victory over Let’s Make It Rain over 1400m at Rosehill at the end of last month.
This is his first foray into stakes racing, but if he handles the class rise he will be hard to hold out as he looks to earn a shot in a race like the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne next month that he pays $26 in all-in betting to win for Waller.
The small size of the field has led to a wide open Spring Stakes betting market this year with three other single figure fancies for the win including Tatoosh ($3.80) in gate two with star Sydney hoop Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
Locally trained by Broadmeadow’s Paul Perry, Beneteau gelding Tatoosh is well tried in Group company this season having crossed two lengths away fourth to Shards in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m) on August 22 before a last start second to Metallic Crown at Randwick on September 5 in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m).
The other best fancied to handle the Newcastle mile in today’s Spring Stakes are Blake Shinn’s mount Gold Ambition ($4.60) and the rails-drawn Land’s End ($6) who Brenton Avdulla will take the reins of.
Savabeel gelding Gold Ambition represents the now Warwick Farm-based Bjorn Baker and is looking to atone for a ninth in the Ming Dynasty while the Gerald Ryan-trained Fastnet Rock colt Land’s End ran seventh in the same lead-up beaten two lengths.
The Spring Stakes market mover is then Devil Hawk, a stablemate to the favourite, in gate four backed in from $13 to $11, which is an equal price with Arsonist shooting for three straight wins.
Waller’s Purrealist colt is yet to race in black-type company and comes off a fifth to the Spring Stakes top fancy in the Rosehill race from August 29.
The Spring Stakes field and odds are then rounded out by $26 outsider Clash Of Clans, Gai Waterhouse’s nicely-bred Exceed And Excel colt last seen running second over 1500m at the track adding to his solid Newcastle race record (3-1-2-0).
See below for the full Spring Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and fixed win odds open online now through Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $700 first depositor’s bonus for a limited time only!