Henry Dwyer’s relatively unknown local filly Leotie has opened narrow favourite to post back-to-back wins at Caulfield Racecourse when stepping up in class for the 2016 Thousand Guineas Prelude this weekend.
The Darci Brahma three-year-old is one of 14 fillies accepted to face off in this season’s $200,000 Group 2 Schweppes Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m), the set weights plus penalties clash to run as Caulfield Race 5 at 2:55pm (AEST) on Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day.
Drawn in barrier 10 with Craig Williams booked for the ride, Leotie has had four starts to date for two wins including over 1400m at Caulfield last time out on August 27.
She’s been freshened-up since and is back in Black-Type company for the first time since her close second when only a neck off the winner I Am A Star in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) on August 13.
Five other fillies are at single-figures in the current Thousand Guineas Prelude betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au including early mover Whispering Brook backed in from $6.50 to $4.60.
Rated a $10 chance in futures betting for the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on October 8, the Simon Miller-trained Hinchinbrook filly is over from WA and making an impact in Melbourne.
A three-time Group winner in her native Perth, Whispering Brook made her interstate debut on September 3 running a devastatingly close second to Merriest in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m).
She is up over 1400m for the first time since her Group 3 W.A. Sires’ Produce Stakes win in mid-April and will appreciate the extra metres.
In the Atlantic Jewel she also overcame barrier 12 of 13 and can do well from the same gate this weekend with Nicholas Hall replacing Chris Parnham in the saddle.
The next best in betting for Saturday’s Group 2 are the rails-drawn Sweet Sherry ($6.50) and Samara Dancer ($7) drawn the opposite end of the field out in gate 13.
Leon & Troy Corstens saddle-up Bel Esprit filly Sweet Sherry who ran sixth and seventh respectively as a two-year-old in the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper.
She won over 1200m at Moonee Valley two back and comes off a third in the Atlantic Jewel Stakes, which could prove the form line to follow into the Thousand Guineas Prelude.
Samara Dancer has the wide alley, but still looks a genuine chance for Phillip Stokes and jockey Dom Tourneur over from Adelaide.
Another daughter of Hinchinbrook, Samara Dancer on the Group 2 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) here in mid-February and after her failed 14th in the Blue Diamond Stakes, returned to form when only 1.15 lengths away third first-up to Saracino in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
Rounding out the top fancies are the progressive Lindsay Park-trained Sebring Dream ($7.50) and Shane Nichols’ Quezette Stakes winner I Am A Star ($8.50) out to improve on her fifth to Foxplay in Sydney’s Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) from September 3.
See below for the full Thousand Guineas Prelude 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and current markets from Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).