A talent-rich field of middle-distance sprint types face off in the Theo Marks Stakes 2016 at Rosehill Gardens this weekend on Golden Rose Stakes Day, betting tips and the latest odds for the handicap clash found below.
Due to jump at 3:50pm (AEST) as Rosehill Race 7, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) features 10 runners with betting at Ladbrokes.com.au currently led by the flying Southern Legend ($2.70).
There are some higher rated chances and Group 1 performers in this field but the good gate (3), light weight (53kg down from 60kg last time out) and four straight winning streak by this Les Bridge-trained four-year-old has the bookies taking no chances.
While undefeated at the track, he’s yet to win over further than 1200m and faces some tough rivals including Chris Waller’s Group 1 placed market mover Counterattack ($4), Tycoon Tara ($8.50) coming off back-to-back Group wins at Randwick this time in for Peter & Paul Snowden and the rails-drawn top weight Rebel Dane ($10).
So will Southern Legend rise in class and salute for the punters or is there an upset Theo Marks Stakes result on the agenda this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival?
#5 Counterattack ($4)
The money is coming for last spring’s Coolmore Stud Stakes third placegetter in Melbourne who has been backed into $4 for his first run as a four-year-old, and we’re happy to follow the trail. He jumps from a gun barrier two draw with one of Sydney’s best, Hugh Bowman, in the saddle on 55.5kg. Last start Waller’s Redoute’s Choice stallion ran unplaced in the Stradbroke Handicap, but he’ll be better in a smaller field in Group 2 company at a distance he has winning form over. Runs well fresh with an outstanding first-up record (5-2-1-2) and has been trialling well including the Rosehill win over 900m at the end of last month.
#6 Oxford Poet ($16)
Good odds offered for the consistent Kim Waugh-trained six-year-old who hasn’t finished out of the money in his past three starts, which included the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) win at Rosehill in mid-July. Last start was a first-up third over this track / distance in mid-August carrying 58.5kg when beaten only a length by the winner Testashadow. Drops to 54.5kg here, drawn nicely in barrier four and has won a subsequent Wyong trial to bring him on fitness wise.
#1 Rebel Dane ($10)
Gary Portelli’s Group 1 winner (2013 Sir Rupert Clark Stakes) carries top weight (59kg), but has enough class to finish top three from barrier one. Won the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) first-up in Sydney last September and while that was his latest victory, there’s been plenty of close calls. Two back ran second in the mud to Tycoon Tara in the Missile Stakes before his third to Australia’s best horse Winx in the Warwick Stakes three weeks back. This is an easier field and he is well positioned.
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