Jockey Craig Newitt is chasing an upset win in the McEwen Stakes 2016 at Moonee Valley Racecourse this weekend aboard Cranbourne-trained galloper O’Malley.
Two years ago Newitt placed second in the sprint showdown on Lankan Rupee who was beaten first-up by Angelic Light (2014) despite jumping odds-on favourite at $1.22.
Last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival Newitt had to settle four fourth with the brave run just out of the money on 101/1 roughie Klishina behind super sprinter Chautauqua in the $200,000 Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m).
On Saturday Newitt partners another outside hope in the weight-for-age race on Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes Day, but has some confidence in his mount O’Malley who is at $13 in the latest markets.
Running as Moonee Valley Race 5 at 2:50pm (AEST), this year’s McEwen Stakes field features 10 hopefuls.
Hot favourite in the McEwen Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.90 and firming is the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Heatherly.
The super-consistent Lonhro mare has drawn wide in barrier 10 for her hoop Damian Lane to overcome on the tight Moonee Valley circuit.
Still the money is pouring in for the four-year-old who comes off a win at the track and distance a fortnight ago in the Listed Norman Carlyon Stakes (1000m).
Heatherly now boasts three wins and a third from four runs at the Valley, the track specialist also a Group 2 winner at Caulfield from the autumn in the Rubiton Stakes (1100m) and third in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) in February as well.
O’Malley may be at double figures, but Newitt is hoping the lightly-raced Street Boss six-year-old can turn the tables on Heatherly after running 1.5 lengths away third to her in the Norman Carlyon.
From just nine career starts to date O’Malley boasts four wins, two seconds and a third.
The galloper is also a gun over the short 1000m distance with four wins, a second and a third from seven starts.
With improvement second-up and the run under his belt, O’Malley is a definite McEwen Stakes danger according to Newitt.
“He went good [last start], he had a long layoff, it has been well documented that he has had screws put in to his front knees which is not ideal but I thought his run was outstanding,” the hoop told Racing Victoria.
“He got right back off the speed and hit the line well, all reports are that he has trained on since so I’d expect he would be really hard to beat [on Saturday].
“I expect him to finish top three, hopefully there is a bit of pressure up front, if Heatherly gets pressured mid-race I’m sure we will be the one finishing over the top.”
The other key McEwen Stakes hopes according to the bookies are the returning John O’Shea-trained Furnaces ($5.50) coming off two good Sydney trials, Lindsay Park’s classy mare Sheidel ($5.50) who is a 1000m specialist (11-6-2-1) and Mark Kavanagh’s last start Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes winner over 1100m at Caulfield in mid-July Wild Rain ($5.50).
Check out the full McEwen Stakes 2016 odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au now!