The bookies are having a hard time separating the chances of two runners in Saturday’s Winter Stakes 2016 betting markets with Ninth Legion and Better Not Blue opening clear favourites for the Rosehill Gardens clash.
The sole stakes race of the weekend in Sydney, this year’s $150,000 Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) is set to run as Rosehill Race 6 at 2:35pm (AEST) and features a small line-up of 10 hopefuls.
Heading the weights with 60kg and drawn in barrier nine is Peter Robl’s flying Fastnet Rock gelding Ninth Legion is current favourite in the Winter Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to score his third Listed win on the trot.
Two back the six-year-old took out the Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich before his narrow victory at Rosehill on July 2 in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) carrying 59kg.
He goes up a kilo on the weekend looking to continue his solid record at the track / distance (5-2-0-1) and is at $4.40 for the win just ahead of the horse he just held off last start Better Not Blue ($4.50).
For Saturday’s rematch the Michelle Ritchie-trained Civic Stakes runner-up Better Not Blue remains on the 54kg again so gets another one kilo advantage over his last start conqueror.
The Chruchill Downs four-year-old was only a neck off Ninth Legion at the track over 1350m a fortnight back and was flying home late, ticking plenty of boxes ahead of Saturday’s feature.
Occupying the third line of Winter Stakes betting at $6.50 each are Snippets Land and Oxford Poet, the latter backed in early from $7.50.
Snippets Land represents Peter & Paul Snowden, the Snippetson gelding out to improve on a fourth in the Civic Stakes when beaten only one and a quarter length.
Winner of the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben back in May, the gelding drops from 58kg last time out to 57.5kg on the weekend and Brenton Avdulla comes aboard for the ride.
Oxford Poet meanwhile chases his maiden stakes victory from barrier three with Tim Clark booked for the Kim Waugh-trained Wyong galloper.
Third in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) at Randwick two back behind Danish Twist, Waugh’s Dylan Thomas five-year-old finished a close fifth in the Civic Stakes and can improve on that run at a track he’s got a good record of two wins and third from five runs at.
Rounding out the single-figure hopefuls are Chris Waller’s last start Listed Spear Chief Handicap (1500m) winner at Eagle Farm Tales Of Grimm ($7) with the outside barrier to overcome and his rails-drawn stablemate Marenostro ($7.50).
Tales Of Grimm has Tommy Berry aboard, while Tye Angland retains the ride on Waller’s Duelled five-year-old Marenostro who can be excused for his last when ninth in the Civic Stakes two weeks ago.
He wasn’t suited coming off a mile run to the 1350m that start and will be improved over 1400m this weekend looking to return to form on a likely wet-track that the known mudlark who has an outstanding Heavy track record (7-4-2-1) will relish.
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