It is a tight two-horse battle in the Ladbrokes Classic 2016 field and latest odds for the three-years-old clash on Caulfield Cup Day with Seaburge and Good Standing battling for favouritism.
Running as Caulfield Race 5 at 2:35pm (AEDT) on Saturday’s bumper program in Melbourne, this year’s $500,000 Group 3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m) has attracted a final field of 14 young staying types.
Heading the field and drawn the inside alley with barrier one is the Lindsay Park-trained Seaburge who narrowly leads the Caulfield Classic odds at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
The son of Sebring pays $3.20 after drawing the inside gate and has Kerrin McEvoy coming aboard to replace Mark Zanra.
Chasing his first win since the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) back in March, Seaburge is on the quick back-up after his eye-catching second to Divine Prophet at the track in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last weekend as a $21 outsider.
He was beaten only a neck and gets out over 2000m for the first time here, which could be the key to him returning to winning form if he can stay out of trouble from the barrier.
Hot on his heels in the Ladbrokes Classic betting markets at a current quote of $3.40 is the James Cummings-trained Good Standing, also drawn well in barrier four with Blake Shinn booked for the ride.
Artie Schiller colt Good Standing hasn’t won a race since the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) first-up in Sydney back in February, and is another Caulfield Guineas graduate from last Saturday.
In the Guineas he finished 2.3 lengths away seventh for a mid-field effort from out wide, a run he can improve on here with more metres to make up late ground.
The last of the single-figure fancies at $7 is Highlad, the Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m) bound galloper drawn the outside alley (14 of 14) for ace hoop Damien Oliver to overcome.
Highlad is a Kiwi raider prepared by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman who has won two of his three career starts to date.
The nicely-bred High Chaparral colt debuted down under on October 2 at Flemington finishing two lengths back for third in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) and is on track to improve off that with the extra distance of Saturday’s race.
The UCI Stakes winner Wine Bush and runner-up Rocketeer are also both accepted for a rematch in the Ladbrokes Classic on the weekend drawn in barriers nine and two respectively.
Sydney’s best Chris Waller trains the progressive Wine Bush, another son of High Chaparral bred to stay who chases back-to-back wins after his upset at $19 odds last start.
Wine Bush is at $12 to win this weekend, Hugh Bowman retaining the ride.
Rocketeer is also at $12 in the markets, Brad Rawiller jumping aboard Mick Price’s perennial placegetter.
The Smart Missile gelding has run second in all three runs this prep, but after going down just a nose last start has a chance to break through with a win over the 2000m on Saturday.
See below for the full Ladbrokes Classic 2016 field, barriers and jockeys along with the latest Caulfield Classic odds from Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time depositor’s bonus (excluding NSW) with use of the code BETBONUS (T&Cs apply).