The key support act on the Mornington Cup Day program on Saturday is the Hareeba Stakes 2016, full field, barriers, betting odds and tips for the sprint feature found below.
Due to run as Mornington Race 8 at 4:10pm (AEDT), this year’s $120,000 Listed Ladbrokes Hareeba Stakes (1200m) will run at its capacity 15 runners including the first emergency.
John O’Shea’s in-form first emergency Meursault gets a run after the early scratching of the Pat Carey-trained General Jackson (15) from the original line-up.
Sitting top of the Hareeba Stakes betting odds at the race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Reldas ($4.40) who will jump from the second widest gate carrying the second heaviest weight of 57.5kg.
Barriers and kilos aside, the bookies are taking no chances on this Robert Smerdon-trained Testa Rossa five-year-old who comes off a Listed Abell Stakes (1200m) win over the distance at Moonee Valley from March 18.
He drops from 59.5kg that run and is a gun over the 1200m with four wins, two seconds and three thirds from 11 starts over the distance to date.
Following in the markets is the aforementioned Meursalut on just 54kg, Ben Melham to ride the Godolphin-raced four-year-old who comes off good Sydney form including a narrow win with 4.5kg more at Randwick over 1200m in late February.
The other best fancied are the early market mover Thermal Current ($6) with the inside run from barrier one, last start Wangaratta winner over 1300m Rough Justice ($9) drawn a treat in gate four and Wendy Kelly’s in-form Charge Forward four-year-old Fast Cash ($9) shooting for three straight wins.
So can Reldas overcome the wide alley and weight to salute for the punters or is there an upset Hareeba Stakes result on the agenda this weekend?
#7 Thermal Current ($6)
There are some class sprinters in the field, but their wide alleys could prove a problem when it comes to a clear run. Thermal Current meanwhile should have things his way from gate one and the money is coming in for Darren Weir’s smart gelding who was third in black-type company at Flemington over 1000m last start. While that distance is more his go, he has won over 1200m before and was a brave fifth beaten under two lengths in last year’s Group 1 The Goodwood. If he handles the extra metres can win.
#5 Dan Zephyr ($10)
Like the double price up on this Danbird five-year-old trained locally by Pat Carey. He has had two runs at his home track for two second place efforts and won over 1400m at Flemington two back. His lead up run in Group 3 class, also at Melbourne’s premier track, was better than the seventh placing suggests as he was beaten only 1.4 lengths over 1400m. Dropping back in both class and distance is a livewire hope from barrier five with James Winks booked for the ride.
#10 Rough Justice ($9)
Another good drawn (four) brings Rough Justice for Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra into the equation. The Wanted four-year-old won last start with 59kg and drops right back to the 54kg minimum on the weekend. He’s yet to win over 1200m but from four starts at the distance boasts a second and two thirds, a good place rate he can add to here.
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