The opening Emirates Stakes Day race at Flemington on Saturday is the 2015 Maribyrnong Plate for the two-year-olds, betting tips and selections for the sprint showdown found below.
A field of just nine juveniles, including three with previous race experience, kick off the card with the $150,000 Group 3 Racing.com Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) running as Flemington Race 1 at 12:20pm (AEST).
Leading the current Maribyrnong Plate odds in an open market at Ladbrokes.com.au, where you can lock in Best Tote or SP + 20% on all of your Emirates Stakes Day selections before jump, is the rails-drawn filly Gloriette ($4.60).
John O’Shea’s nicely-bred daughter of Lonhro debuts on the back of a strong trial win from October 20 and is drawn ideally with the rails run, but how she handles a wet track will be key.
Following the top fancy are then two equal $6 co-second favourites.
Dalradian for Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir and the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Valliano ran one-two in the Inglis 2YO Banner (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day and could be the ones to beat again over the same distance at Flemington this weekend.
Undefeated with back-to-back wins at his two career starts, Reward For Effort colt Dalradian had just a short half-head to spare over the runner-up last start and has the outside barrier nine draw to overcome this weekend if he is to stay unbeaten.
Valliano is drawn two better in gate seven for the rematch and is looking to break his maiden status three runs in after his third in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) on debut at the start of October.
With a likely wet track and so little form to go on, all but the $81 outsider in Maribyrnong Plate betting Nine Clouds are also under $10 for the win making for a tough punt.
#7 War Hero ($9)
Connections paid a hefty price for this blue-bred colt, a son of former champion Sepoy, and this is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained youngster’s first chance to show off his potential on the track. Snowden senior prepared the sire who won this same race in his 2010 debut, Sepoy going on to win four more of his five other runs in his opening campaign including the Golden Slipper. Can War Hero do the same? He has had one trial when third in Sydney over 737m on a Soft course and one of the few in this field that has run on worse than Good going. The step up to 1000m will suit, the breeding is on point and barrier three is another tick down the Flemington straight.
#1 Dalradian ($6)
The back-to-back wins in his opening two starts is telling and that race experience will go a long way on a big race day this weekend. His last start was a lucrative win for connections over the same 1000m distance he races over on Saturday from barrier nine. Will need a bit of luck from the gate and if the track isn’t upgraded, how he lets down on rain-affected going will be the key to keeping his flawless race record intact.
#8 Missrock ($7)
The only other previous winner outside of Dalradian in the line-up, Robbie Laing’s Fastnet Rock filly won the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on Guineas Day before her third in the Group 3 Ottawa Stakes (1000m) on Melbourne Cup Day. She doesn’t get long between runs then but held her home in the Flemington feature on Tuesday, dropping half a kilo to 55kg for this with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Kick off Emirates Stakes Day on a high by locking in Best Tote or SP + 20% on your Maribyrnong Plate selections only at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the same awesome offer running on every Flemington race on the card!