Darley Classic-bound sprint champion Chautauqua is the odds-on favourite to go back-to-back this prep with a win in the Gilgai Stakes 2015 at Flemington Racecourse on Turnbull Stakes Day this long weekend.
Due to run as Race 5 at 1:40pm (AEST) on Sunday afternoon, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) has attracted a final field of 10 sprinters.
Leading the Gilgai Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, where you will get paid Best Tote or SP + 20% on your winnings for the full Turnbull Stakes Day card this season, at a very short $1.30 is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Chautauqua.
The five-year-old Encosta De Lago gelding is best known for his Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) win in Sydney during the autumn that followed a Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) second at Flemington in mid-March and was followed by his third to the since retired Dissident in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 18.
This time in the $2.5 million earner won the Group 2 McEwen Handicap (1000m) first-up at Moonee Valley over 1000m defeating The Goodwood winner Flamberge by one and a half lengths on way to the Gilgai where he defends his title having won the race last October by a blistering four lengths.
Following the defending Gilgai Stakes winner, who is on way to the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) back at the track in early November, in the markets for Sunday’s edition are two other single figure hopes with the firming Charlie Boy ($11 into $6.50) and Churchill Dancer ($9).
The money has come hard and fast for the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained five-year-old Charlie Boy to score the upset Gilgai Stakes result on the back of a nice first-up second to Fell Swoop in a black type over 1200m at Caulfield a fortnight ago.
Winner of the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) before a Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) second to Boban in Brisbane back in May, Charlie Boy carried a hefty 60kg first-up in the Testa Rossa Stakes and will appreciate the drop down to 56.5kg this weekend when running at Flemington for the fourth time.
Churchill Dancer meanwhile comes off back-to-back wins for the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig stable, Michael Walker back in the saddle after apprentice Michael Dee was used for his claim that helped the galloper win the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) on September 12.
The Bobbie Lewis form was franked at Caulfield last weekend with runner-up Under The Louvre running a brave third to Stratum Star in a blanket finish in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), which bodes well for Churchill Dancer this weekend.
Outside of the top three in the Gilgai Stakes betting markets are a number of other livewire hopes at juicy odds including the returning John O’Shea-trained BTC Cup runner-up from the winter Knoydart ($10) and Group 2 winner Delectation ($13) representing Sydney’s best Chris Waller.
Check out the latest Gilgai Stakes 2015 betting odds below, taking advantage of the Best Tote or SP + 20% markets at Ladbrokes.com.au!