The key support act on the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes Day card at Moonee Valley Racecourse this Saturday is the McEwen Stakes 2016, the final field and betting markets for the short-distance sprint now out.
Due to run as Moonee Valley Race 5 at 2:50pm (AEST), this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Mitty’s Racing Colours McEwen Stakes (1000m) has attracted a final field of 10 hopefuls.
Sitting top of the current McEwen Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3 and firming is the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained mare Heatherly.
Despite drawing the outside barrier (10 of 10) the four-year-old daughter of Lonhro is the one to beat in the weight-for-age clash according to the bookies.
During the autumn she won the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) before a brave third when only three quarters of a length off the winner Flamberge in Caulfield’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
She returned from a spell on August 20 at the Valley and enjoyed a half-length win over Viddora in the Listed Norman Carlyon Stakes (1000m) and is back over the same track and distance against tougher company on Saturday.
Heatherly also drops from 57kg first-up to 56.5kg on the weekend and has Damian Lane retaining the ride as she looks to continue her gun record at Moonee Valley (4-3-0-1).
Three of her rivals are also under $10 for the win in the McEwen Stakes odds including the $5.50 second elect, fellow mare Wild Rain.
Mark Kavanagh saddles-up the five-year-old daughter of Manhattan Rain from a good barrier two draw with jockey Stephen Baster aboard to replace Oliver in the saddle.
Oliver rode Wild Rain last time out in mid-July for her Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) victory.
She ticks plenty of boxes for a McEwen Stakes win with a 50% winning strike rate at the track (4-2-0-0) and a strong record over the distance (10-5-1-1).
The other two single-figure hopes at an equal $6 are Furnaces and Sheidel drawn in barriers three and seven respectively.
Prepared by John O’Shea for the Godolphin stable, four-year-old Exceed And Excel stallion Furnaces hasn’t raced since a fifth at Scone in the Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) in mid-May.
He has trialled twice since at Randwick including a win over 1050m on August 19, but hasn’t raced at in Melbourne since his brave third behind super sprinter Chautauqua in the McEwen Stakes 12 months ago.
Sheidel meanwhile is first-up for the Lindsay Park training team, the Holy Roman Emperor mare last seen running seventh to Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide from late May.
Sheidel won a recent trial in the wet and chases her first win since April’s Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.
Other notable final acceptors include Norman Carlyon Stakes third placegetter O’Malley ($11), the Robert Smerdon-trained Group 2 winning mare Alpha Miss ($11) and Ciaron Maher’s daughter of Exceed And Excel Chloe In Paris ($11) who has a brilliant record at the distance (5-3-1-0).
Check out the full McEwen Stakes 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds provided by our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au in the table below.