Fourteen runners have been confirmed in the field for Saturday’s Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse; offering punters exceptional value from a betting standpoint and several key opportunities to place a winning wager.
Hardham has returned to racing in competitive form this time and remains sole occupant of the top line of 2016 McNeil Stakes betting with Ladbrokes.com.au, at a quote of $5 for success.
Hardham began he racing career under the guidance of the recently-retired Peter Moody, but has been transferred to the care of Mick Price for his 2016 Spring Carnival campaign.
Taking out a Pakenham minor over 1200m on debut in March, the Redoute’s Choice colt resuming this time for a solid third in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago and could very well receive the run of the race on Saturday from barrier 8, with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Defcon and Highland Beat were consistent performers through the Autumn Carnival this year, and the pair remain tied on the second line of 2016 McNeil Stakes betting at $5.50 quotes.
Running second in the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) on debut in late January, Defcon again finished just off the pace when second in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) on February 20th.
Breaking through for a maiden black type win in the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1100m) on February 20th, the Choisir colt failed to fire in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and was returned to the paddock, but has trialled well in the lead-up to his competitive return.
Highland Beat is the most experienced runner confirmed in the McNeil Stakes field, and the colt carries positive form into the race after finishing second in the Vain Stakes first-up.
Running second to Capitalist in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (100m) at Caulfield on February 6th, Highland Beat failed to fire in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) but responded well with two smart performances in minor Victorian sprints.
Drawn ideally in barrier 3, Highland Beat will carry only 56kgs in the McNeil Stakes and is more than worth consideration for a bet at current McNeil Stakes odds.
Seaburge ($6) and Blue Tycoon ($7) are the only other runners currently available at 2016 McNeil Stakes odds of less-than $10, while Godolphin runner Pyx Chamber ($31) is worth consideration at long odds.
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