The opening stakes race on the Moonee Valley card in Melbourne this Saturday is the McKenzie Stakes 2016, betting tips and odds for the event found below.
The field for the $120,000 Listed Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes (1200m) is down to only seven after Lindsay Park withdrew Rampage (4) in favour of an Adelaide run and Mick Price took out his in-form Snitzel colt China Dream (2).
Heading the updated McKenzie Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au at a short $2.05 and approaching odds-on territory is Ken’s Dream, a lightly-raced son of Dream Ahead having just his second start.
Prepared by in-form Melbourne Cup winning horseman Darren Weir, the colt blitzed his debut at Echuca by a runaway nine lengths with 58kg on his back and is tipped to handle the step up in class this weekend.
Ken’s Dream ploughed through a Heavy (9) track that day with Dean Yendall aboard and has the same hoop aboard on Saturday but drops to a more manageable 55kg for his first Black-Type assignment.
Occupying the second line in the McKenzie Stakes odds this season at $3.80 is Verstappen also coming off a big win on debut.
The Danny O’Brien-trained Stratum colt put over four lengths on his closest rival at Pakenham over 1200m on August 5 and has Damien Oliver booked for the ride on Saturday in the small field.
The early market mover though backed right in from $7 to $4.40 to win first-up is Lindsay Park’s remaining runner Dam Ready.
Luke Currie rides the son of More Than Ready for the fourth time in as many starts, the smart gelding already Group 3 performed.
His debut in February was a fourth to Extreme Choice in the Chairman’s Stakes, the winner of which went on to frank the form taking out last season’s Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
Dam Ready also finished fourth last start in Adelaide’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic with a Moonee Valley win sandwiched between.
With a host of promising new-season three-year-olds is it worth following the money trail or tipping an upset?
#3 Dam Ready ($4.40)
Like the odds on offer for this Hayes & Dabernig-trained gelding who races for the first time since the Magic Millions fourth in Adelaide from mid-March. He was the beaten odds-on favourite that day but there were excuses and first-up can atone at the Valley where he posted his only win to date. Currie has been aboard for all three career runs and retains the ride for the 3YO debut, this is a winnable race and can earn early valuable black-type.
#8 Ken’s Dream ($2.05)
Big, big debut by a runaway nine lengths so there’s plenty of hype on Weir’s runner who Yendall sticks with. The margin was impressive but the field he beat didn’t feature much so this is a genuine class test for the up-and-comer. He would love a rain-affected track so if it does downgrade to Heavy, he’ll be the one to beat at the short odds.
#1 Throssell ($8)
Good value on offer for the undefeated Ciaron Maher-trained Captain Sonador gelding who has won his opening two starts back in April. The latest saw him overcame barrier 11 (of 12), but it was down the Flemington straight. He took at the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1400m) by a good margin and has won a subsequent Cranbourne trial so lots of boxes ticked for Nick Hall’s mount.
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