A full field of 16 gallopers face off in the 2015 Eclipse Stakes this weekend at Sandown Hillside, betting tips for the Zipping Classic Day showdown found below.
Running as Sandown Race 6 at 4:00pm (AEST), this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) field will feature the first emergency Plot The Course after the early scratching of the widely-drawn Stuart Webb-trained Lord Athenaeum.
Leading Eclipse Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $5 for the win is the John O’Shea-trained Sydney visitor Malice, a five-year-old son of Teofilo who is after his first win since November last year.
After a seventh to subsequent Cox Plate winner Winx in the Epsom Handicap over the Randwick mile in early October this spring, Malice ran a nice fourth to Turn Me Loose in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley and was then second past the post last time out in the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m) at Flemington on November 3.
Close second pick in the Eclipse Stakes odds at a firming $5.50 is the rails-drawn market mover Worthy Cause, backed in from $7.50 to win from the inside alley with apprentice hoop Luke Dittman booked to ride the John Zielke-trained Choisir four-year-old whose last start was a Crystal Mile fifth.
The only other single figure fancies in the field are the Robert Smerdon-trained Seymour Cup runner-up Scream Machine ($8) and Group 3 Matriarch Stakes third placed mare last weekend Casino Dancer ($9).
So can the favourites get the job done for the punters or is there an upset Eclipse Stakes result on the cards from the likes of the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained eight-year-old Jacquinot Bay ($13) or winner of the greys’ race on Crown Oaks Day Slate On Edge ($13)?
#7 Digitalism ($21)
Going for the upset at juicy odds with the John Sadler-trained Fastnet Rock six-year-old Digitalism in absolutely flying form and set to handle this rise in class. He’s had four runs at the track for a win and a second, and has a solid record at the 1800m also (5-1-2-1). He drops in distance from his past two starts, both of which he won, when taking out a handicap over 2040m at Moonee Valley in September and then scoring a black-type victory in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on October 11. Freshened-up since so should be ready to fly over the distance with a manageable 56kg on his back from a good barrier two draw.
#5 Malice ($5)
Race favourite ticks plenty of boxes and should get a lovely run with McDonald aboard from barrier six. Hasn’t won in a while though was brave in defeat in both the Crystal Mile and Cup Day Plate. Sydney form around the Cox Plate champ Winx and from two 1800m runs boasts two seconds. He’s an honest galloper that can’t be ruled out of a top three finish.
#13 Garud ($13)
Plenty of livewire hopes in this line-up fighting for the minors including the Michael Moroney-trained Garud in gate 11 with Ryan Maloney aboard the perennial placegetter. The veteran High Chaparral eight-year-old has had three runs this time in for three third place Melbourne runs including the Seymour Cup and the Cup Day Plate, so form around the top fancies. Gets in on the 54kg minimum again and should be rock hard fit ready to peak.
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