Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The sole Group 1 feature in Sydney on the weekend is Randwick’s Spring Champion Stakes 2015 for the three-year-olds on Saturday, betting tips for the set weights showdown found below.
There are 10 in the mix for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), the classic due to jump at 4:10pm (AEST) as Randwick Race 6.
Of the hopefuls there are four at single figures in the latest Spring Champion Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, home of the $700 bonus bet for first time depositing players that quote the code SPRINGBONUS this season.
Of those the drifting favourite is from the dominant Chris Waller stable, Waller saddling-up the in-form Vanbrugh who has eased out from an odds-on price of $1.80 to $2 for the win.
No favourite has won the Spring Champion Stakes since Platinum Scissors (2002), but the punters are taking no chances with this Encosta De Lago colt who has won his past two on the trot including the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) last start at Rosehill on September 26.
His main dangers in the Spring Champion Stakes betting markets this season are the Brisbane-trained market mover Too Good To Refuse ($7 into $4.60) jumping from a gun barrier three draw and Tatoosh ($9) coming off a trio of second place finishes including behind Vanbrugh in the Gloaming.
So can Vanbrugh break the curse of the favourites or is there another upset Spring Champion Stakes result on the card this weekend from an outside hope such as the rails-drawn Gloaming Stakes third placegetter Man Of Choice ($9.50) or even Tommy Berry’s mount Jadeer ($15) coming off a win over the distance at Moonee Valley?
#1 Vanbrugh ($2)
The favourites may have a horror recent record in this showdown, but the form on Waller’s top fancy this season is too good to ignore and his easing price makes him more appealing value-wise. Drawn for success in barrier six and set weights will suit. He comes off two Sydney wins over increasing distances including 1800m in the Gloaming, so the step up to 2000m here shouldn’t be an issue as he had one and three-quarter lengths to spare on his closest rival last time out. The Gloaming Stakes is the form race to follow into the Spring Champion producing four of the past five winners including two to do the double with It’s A Dundeel (2012) and Complacent (2013) and it is hard to see anything stopping this year’s champ from doing the same.
#2 Tatoosh ($9)
He’s the perennial placegetter and could finish second best for the fourth time on the trot here after the Paul Perry-trained Beneteau gelding crossed runner-up behind a trio of Waller-trained gallopers in three Group 3 races: the Ming Dynasty (1400m) behind Metallic Crown, the Spring Stakes (1600m) behind Devil Hawk and the Gloaming behind this weekend’s top fancy. He had a wide barrier 12 of 12 draw last start and will be better from a nice gate four draw on Saturday for the rematch with Corey Brown coming aboard. Meets Vanbrugh at equal weights here so that’s also an advantage, he probably can’t turn the tables on the favourite but he’ll make a race of it.
#3 Devil Hawk ($17)
For value we’re throwing in another Waller-trained Group 3 winner to stand up here with the Newcastle Spring Stakes winning Purrealist colt out to atone for the Gloaming Stakes sixth when stepped up in distance. Needs to prove he can go this distance, but barrier two will help and can surprise at good odds for a place.
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