Tonight the first of three Group 1 races taking place across the long weekend runs at Moonee Valley Racecourse with a class field of sprinters facing off in the William Reid Stakes 2016, betting tips for which can be found below.
A final field of 12 horses are in the mix for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Mitchelton Wines William Reid Stakes (1200m), which is due to jump at 9:15pm (AEDT) as Moonee Valley Race 6.
Leading the latest William Reid Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.40 for the win is the reigning champion Lucky Hussler who is out to join Black Caviar (2011 and 2013) and Apache Cat (2008-09) as recent multiple winners of the race.
The Darren Weir-trained Husson gelding comes off a second in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) to Suavito at Caulfield in mid-February and is back to a distance he boasts four wins, a second and a third from 10 runs over tonight.
Close second favourite in William Reid Stakes betting at $3.90 is the consistent John O’Shea-trained Commands colt Holler, out to become the first three-year-old to win since Foxwedge (2012).
He comes off a win in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) in Sydney having defeated Group 1 winner First Seal by over a length, but history is against him as no William Reid Stakes winner has come off a run outside of Melbourne since Spanish Mix (1993).
The other best fancied in the mix this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival are the Chris Waller-trained Japonisme out in barrier 11 and yet another three-year-old, Kinglike ($8), who ran second to English in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at the start of the month.
So will Lucky Hussler win again and salute for the punters or is there value tipping an upset William Reid Stakes result from the likes of Peter Moody’s Oakleigh Plate winner Flamberge ($12) or The Quarterback ($15) shooting for the Newmarket Handicap – William Reid double last achieved by Black Caviar (2011)?
#1 Lucky Hussler ($3.40)
There won’t be much in the finish with an open field here but Lucky Hussler looks pretty spot-on to score his second William Reid win. He resumed and took it out first-up 12 months ago, but the six-year-old has had two runs this time in. The first was the Gold Coast Magic Millions Cup win before a luckless second in the CF Orr Stakes. History shows the Melbourne form stacks up better than that in Sydney in this race, and think that will be the case again tonight with the reigning champ proven at the track and distance and drawn well in gate five with Glen Boss aboard again.
#3 The Quarterback ($15)
Sticking with the Melbourne form and that of the Newmarket, a race that has provided three of the past five William Reid Stakes winners. Robbie Griffiths’ Street Boss five-year-old scored that win as a $21 shot and is juicy in betting here to keep his good 1200m record going (7-3-1-2). He does go up from 52kg to 58.5kg at WFA so will need to be firing. He’s drawn one outside of Lucky Hussler so should get a good run in transit and can surprise again.
#10 Holler ($3.90)
Holler was impressive in the Canterbury Stakes in Sydney and has James McDonald travelling to Victoria to stay on for his shot at back-to-back Group 1s. He is proven at Moonee Valley, undefeated at the tight circuit with two previous wins with the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) from Cox Plate Day in the spring and the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) first-up in January. WFA suits, mid-field barrier and ticking plenty of boxes.
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