Darren Weir’s in-form four-year-old Stratum Star will look to continue his ace Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival this Saturday on Caulfield Cup Day with a win as the favourite in the David Jones Cup 2015.
A final field of just 10 horses faces off in Caulfield Race 6 on the weekend when the $150,000 Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) jumps at 3:45pm (AEST).
Leading the current David Jones Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, where you can lock in Best Tote or SP + 20% on all Caulfield races this Saturday, is flying Stratum stallion Stratum Star carrying the 59kg top weight.
Drawn a treat in gate two with jockey Mark Zahra jumping back on for the first time since mid-August, the galloper pays $3.50 for the win shooting for his third victory from eight runs at the track.
His four most recent runs have all been at Caulfield including a third to Boban in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) in late August when beaten only a neck.
He atoned with an elite level win two back on September 26 narrowly holding off Disposition in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) before a last start third in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) just last Saturday.
On the short back-up, Stratum Star now looks for more spring success but goes up two kilos from the 57kg he carried in the Toorak over 400m less.
Three other David Jones Cup runners are also at single figures for the win including Fenway ($4.40) and Sadler’s Lake ($4.60) drawn in barriers five and seven respectively.
Looking to beat home the boys is the Lee & Shannon Hope-trained four-year-old High Chaparral mare Fenway who won the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) over this distance in Sydney during the autumn.
She was also runner-up next start in Adelaide’s Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) giving her a nice 2000m record (3-1-1-1) ahead of Saturday.
Fenway comes off a Moonee Valley win over the mile in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) and could be hard to hold out here as she drops a kilo to 56kg and gets back up in distance.
Sadler’s Lake is a four-year-old Chris Waller-trained Sydney visitor having his first run at Caulfield Racecourse, the High Chaparral gelding having won the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) two back.
His latest run was over the Randwick mile at the start of the month when four lengths away ninth to his winning stablemate Winx in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
He should appreciate the extra metres and drop in class on Saturday having run fourth when beaten only 1.2 lengths in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) as a three-year-old in the winter.
Sadler’s Lake also drops a kilo down to 55kg from last start with veteran hoop Jim Cassidy retaining the ride.
The last of the single figure hopes is then the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained import Dibayani ($6) who is also the third emergency for the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) at the meeting.
Unlikely to make the capacity 18-starter Caulfield Cup field, the Shamardal six-year-old will look to improve on a Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) ninth at the track last start when carrying 57.5kg from the outside alley in the David Jones Cup with last year’s Caulfield Cup winning hoop Zac Purton booked for the ride.
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