Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The first of the two Group 1 Emirates Stakes Day feature races headlining the action at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday sees the sprinters take to the track in the 2015 Darley Classic, betting tips for the weight-for-age showdown found below.
There are 10 in the mix for this year’s $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m), which runs as Flemington Race 6 at 3:40pm (AEST) including the odds-on favourite Chautauqua.
Prepared by Team Hawkes, last year’s runner-up Chautauqua is a more experienced and furnished horse 12 months on having enjoyed two Group 1 wins over the past year.
The latest was in the Manikato Stakes over the same 1200m distance as Saturday’s clash to give him a flawless three-from-three record this time in.
With the Manikato producing the three most recent Darley Classic winners and Chautauqua drawn a treat in gate four, his short but easing $1.60 price through Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Best Tote or SP + 20% across the Emirates Stakes Day card tomorrow – looks deserved.
So can Chautauqua become the fourth favourite in seven years to salute or is there an upset Darley Classic result on the cards from the likes of Manikato Stakes runner-up and market mover Srikandi ($8) or the defending champ Terravista ($8) with the rails-run as he looks to emulate back-to-back Darley Classic winner Black Caviar (2010-11)?
#8 Srikandi ($8)
Chautauqua is the deserving favourite and ticks plenty of boxes, but there’s been a few major upsets across the Cup Carnival and the form on Srikandi is very nice. So if it is value you’re after, Ciaron Maher’s mare is it. She won the Stradbroke Handicap – Tattersall’s Tiara double to see out her last prep before coming back with the brave first-up second in the Manikato she’ll only be improving on. Maher is a master of late with classy female gallopers, including Jameka’s Crown Oaks win in the wet on Thursday, so the stable is as in-form as this consistent daughter of Dubawi. She’s the right age as a five-year-old and while this is her first run down the straight at Flemington her record over the distance is top notch (7-5-1-0).
#2 Chautauqua ($1.60)
If he does get beaten, it is only going to be by a very narrow margin. This weekend gives the Encosta De Lago gelding the shot at four on the trot this time in, his third Group 1 victory and the chance to go one better than his Darley Classic second from 12 months ago. Barrier 4 looks ideal, he loves Flemington (5-3-2-0), is at his pet distance (11-5-5-0) and is the deserving odds-on top fancy in betting.
#10 Lumosty ($12)
Robert Smerdon’s Fastnet Rock four-year-old scratched out of an easier Oaks Day assignment giving the mare a shot at tougher company in the Darley Classic. She is two-from-four at Flemington and one-from-one over Saturday’s distance. Third to Srikandi in the Tattersall’s Tiara back in June, Lumosty was last seen winning the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) on October 17. Stepping up in distance here will suit and she could be the surprise factor if she can get the right run from the outside alley.
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