Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
A talented and capacity field of stayers has been confirmed for Saturday’s featured Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) (MRC Foundation Cup) in Melbourne; offering its winner ballot-free exemption into the Caulfield Cup 2016.
Tom Melbourne remains a clear $4 favourite in 2016 Naturalism Stakes betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au, ahead of Jameka ($5.50) and Real Love ($9); interestingly figuring as the only other runner currently available at odds of less-than $10.
Will Tom Melbourne justify his resounding favouritism and win the 2016 Naturalism Stakes, or will one of his many talented rivals post an upset?
Excess Knowledge ($12)
Consistent performer Excess Knowledge should receive a dream run from barrier 4 in the Naturalism Stakes and will relish a step up to 2000m. Posting five wins and a further eight minors through twenty-two career starts so far, the Monsun entire was a standout for Gai Waterhouse last spring; running second in each of the Listed Harry White Classic (2400m) and Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) before winning the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Derby Day. Sure to have plenty of benefit from a first-up run in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) a fortnight ago, Excess Knowledge is arguably over the odds at his current quote.
Real Love ($9)
Real Love has stepped up a class since transferring to the care of Darren Weir and should be perfectly suited to the conditions of the Naturalism Stakes. Winning the Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) on March 5th, the Desert King mare ran third in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) and second in the Beck Property Group Plate (2000m) before taking out each of the Group 3 JRA Cup (2000m) and Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) most notably. Having savaged the line for second in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes first-up, Real Love will only relish a step up to 2000m on Saturday.
Set Square ($11)
Group 1 winner Set Square has returned to racing in smart form this time and is more than worth consideration for a bet at current Naturalism Stakes odds of $11 for success, or $3.75 to finish in the first three. Having remained in the paddock through the recent autumn season with a view towards a Cups campaign, the Reset mare placed ninth in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up before running on well for third in the Dato’ last time out. Set Square has been charged with carrying only 55.5kgs and will be partnered by Luke Nolen.
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