The last of the Group races on the bumper Coolmore Classic Day card at Rosehill Racecourse on Saturday is the Ajax Stakes 2016, betting tips for the handicap clash found below.
Due to jump as Rosehill Race 8 at 4:50pm (AEDT), the field for this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) is down to 14 starters after the early scratching of the 59kg top weight Big Money (11).
Leading the updated Ajax Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is Generalife ($5) who now carries the most kilos with 58.5kg from a nice barrier five draw with gun hoop James McDonald aboard.
The John O’Shea-trained Lonhro six-year-old comes off two good fourth place efforts in Group 3 company including the Liverpool City Cup when beaten just over a length a fortnight ago at Randwick.
He is back at Rosehill where he has a top record of four wins from seven starts and will appreciate the course as he looks to salute for the Ajax Stakes punters.
The big dangers according to the Ajax Stakes betting markets this season are market mover and Liverpool City Cup third placegetter Good Project ($5.50) drawn wide for the Chris Waller stable and the Joe Pride-trained stallion Rock Sturdy with barrier two second-up off a second in the same lead-up.
So can Generalife win his first of the season or is there an upset Ajax Stakes result on the cards form the likes of Gerald Ryan’s miler Red Excitement ($17) or the Darren Weir-trained 2014 New Zealand Derby winner Puccini ($12) who Hong Kong-based Brett Prebble rides?
#6 Rock Sturdy ($6)
Think the value in the Ajax Stakes markets this season lies in Fastnet Rock five-year-old Rock Sturdy who is second-up off an eye-catching second beaten just a neck in the Liverpool City Cup on February 27, form that could stack up in this Group 2. He gets the run of the race from the barrier and returns to Rosehill where he has a nice record (3-2-1-0). He is also unbeaten over Saturday’s distance with two previous runs and was a brave third only a half-length off the winner Turn Me Loose, subsequent winner of the Futurity Stakes this season, in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) last November.
#9 Puccini ($12)
A former Group 1 winner in New Zealand, Puccini is now with Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir who took over from his former Kiwi trainer in the spring last year. This five-year-old Encosta De Lago stallion’s win was a while ago back in January 2015 in NZ at elite level, so he has definite class. Down under his record hasn’t been as good, but the last start third over 1400m here in Group 3 company was solid and he has form up to 2400m. The distance on Saturday is likely short of his best, but top three claims at a good price for sure.
#4 Good Project ($5.50)
Sydney’s best Waller trains this consistent Not A Single Doubt four-year-old whose lead-up in the Liverpool City Cup saw him a beaten third only a half-length off the winner first-up. He has twice run second from four second-up runs to date and has good form at Rosehill (5-2-3-1) and is a Group 1 winner over a mile in Perth’s Railway Stakes last November. He needs luck from the wide alley here, but if he gets the right run will be right in the finish.
Whether you’re backing or sacking our Ajax Stakes 2016 betting selections make sure you get the guaranteed best Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival odds online through Ladbrokes.com.au today!