John O’Shea’s multiple Group 1 placegetter Hauraki kicks off his winter bid in Queensland this Saturday heading the field and early betting markets for the AD Hollindale Stakes 2016 at the Gold Coast Racecourse.
Due to jump at 3:40pm (AEST) as the Gold Coast Race 7, this season’s $358,000 Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) features a final field of 14 weight-for-age stayers.
Current AD Hollindale Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have the Godolphin-raced Reset four-year-old Hauraki as the clear $3.30 favourite and firming to return to winning form.
He hasn’t won since the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) in March last year, which led into his Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) second behind subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan.
This campaign he has had four runs including a Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) third to Winx and a second behind The United States in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) two back.
Last time out Hauraki was seventh behind Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), but against an easier field from a gun barrier two draw with James McDonald aboard this Saturday is tipped as the one to beat.
Four of his rivals are also under $10 in AD Hollindale Stakes betting this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival including his rails-drawn stablemate Old North ($5).
Jumping one on the inside of Hauraki, the fellow O’Shea-trained Lonhro colt Old North has Tim Clark aboard in place of McDonald for his Queensland debut.
The progressive youngster won the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) two back before a last start second at Randwick on April 16 behind He’s Our Rokkii in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m).
The next best in betting is Sir Moments ($8.50) in barrier nine with Peter Hammersley in the saddle of the Steven O’Dea-trained Choisir five-year-old.
Prepared in Brisbane the gelding has a good Gold Coast record of two wins and two seconds from six starts at the track he returns to for the first time since being narrowly defeated in the Listed Gold Coast Stakes (1200m) on March 12.
His latest run was a fortnight ago on April 23 at the Sunshine Coast when carting a hefty 61kg to a brave third, beaten only a quarter-length by the winner Bewhatyouwannabe in the Listed Tails Stakes (1600m).
He drops to 59kg in Saturday’s WFA clash and is out to go one better than his second to Leebaz (2015), a $41 roughie to go back-to-back with a successful title defence on Saturday, in last year’s Hollindale.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies are the Gai Waterhouse-trained Monsun stallion Excess Knowledge ($9) with the outside alley (14) to overcome and Spiritjim ($9.50) drawn better with barrier three.
Six-year-old Excess Knowledge hasn’t raced since a second in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) first-up in Sydney on March 12 and shoots for his first win since the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Derby Day during the spring.
Sydney’s best Chris Waller saddles-up fellow six-year-old stallion Spiritjim, the son of Galileo debuting down under with his last start being a Group 1 fourth in France behind Ming Dynasty last October.
Check out the full A.D. Hollindale Stakes 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and current Fixed Win odds below – prices provided by Ladbrokes.com.au!