Nigel Blackiston’s dual Group 1 winning mare Suavito has opened narrow favourite to post a first-up victory at Caulfield over a crack field in Saturday’s PB Lawrence Stakes 2016.
The six-year-old daughter of Thorn Park is one of 17 weight-for-age hopefuls nominated for this season’s $200,000 Group 1 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and she leads pre-field markets on the race at Ladbrokes.com.au.
First-up off a year spell back in February this year Suavito enjoyed her second elite level victory in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) over the PB Lawrence Stakes track / distance.
Her first Group 1 success was also at Caulfield over 1400m in last year’s Futurity Stakes, a race she crossed third to Turn Me Loose in this autumn.
Since then she was unplaced twice firstly for a ninth when still under three lengths off the winner Preferment in Flemington’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) in March and then her distant 11th behind the Ciaron Maher-trained Azkadellia in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in Sydney at Randwick on April 9.
Despite that failed run during ‘The Championships’, the bookies are taking no chances with Suavito in her return this Saturday as she has a stellar first-up record (5-3-1-1), excellent Caulfield strike rate (8-4-1-3) and plenty of form over the exact track & distance (7-4-1-2).
Suavito sits top of the PB Lawrence Stakes odds at $4.20 ahead of the release of the final field and barriers on Wednesday, but is followed very closely by the Darren Weir-trained Mahuta ($4.80).
Weir’s Flying Spur stallion makes his four-year-old debut second-up on the weekend.
He enjoyed a stellar three-year-old season that included a win in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) last November, success in the lucrative $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast in January and a Caulfield Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) victory in mid-February.
His autumn concluded with a disappointing 14th (of 15 runners) behind Palentino in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), but Mahuta looked back on track first-up on July 30 when third to Lord Of The Sky in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m).
A further four of the PB Lawrence Stakes nominations are currently under $10 for the win including Robbie Laing’s Bletchingly Stakes winner Lord Of The Sky ($6.50) chasing back-to-back Caulfield Group victories.
The Danerich stallion has a 50% winning strike rate at the track (12-6-0-0), but the distance is the test as he is yet to win over further than 1200m and has had just the one previous 1400m start when seventh at Flemington in January of 2015.
The other single-figure fancies are the Danny O’Brien-trained Miss Rose De Lago ($8), Group 1 winning mare Jameka ($9) and veteran nine-year-old The Cleaner ($9).
Encosta De Lago mare Miss Rose De Lago has a stellar Caulfield record of three wins and a third from her four starts at the track she returns to on Saturday in her first run since a ninth in the Queen Of The Turf.
Before that she won the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley, while her last Caulfield assignment was back in late February when defeated just a quarter length running third to Azkadellia in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m).
Jameka geared up for her first run as a mare with a winning Cranbourne trial over 990m in the wet on Monday morning, Maher’s reigning Crown Oaks winner last seen crossing fourth in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 9.
The Cleaner meanwhile has his first run for Peter Gelagotis, the former Tasmanian-trained champ looking to go one better than his second in last year’s PB Lawrence Stakes.
See below for the full futures markets on the race, PB Lawrence Stakes betting open at Ladbrokes.com.au!