A good barrier draw will assist Champagne...
Robert Hickmott’s in-form veteran The United States has opened narrow favourite in Emirates Stakes 2016 betting for this Saturday’s $2 million showdown at Flemington Racecourse.
Previously run on Derby Day the Saturday prior as the Mackinnon Stakes, this year’s $2 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) has attracted a final field of 13 weight-for-age hopefuls.
One of two elite level spring races on the final Melbourne Cup Carnival meeting, the Emirates Stakes field is set to do battle in Flemington Race 7 at 4:15pm (AEDT).
Leading the early Emirates Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to be the first favourite to salute for the punters since So You Think (2010) is seven-year-old The United States ($4).
He is drawn barrier 11, which hasn’t produced an Emirates Stakes winner in over 30 years, but has Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
Hickmott, now five-time winning owner Lloyd Williams and McEvoy combined with Almandin to win the $6.2 million two mile classic and return on Saturday looking for more success.
The United States enjoyed a Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) win at Moonee Valley two back and is out to improve on his close fourth when just over a length off the winner Le Romain in Flemington’s Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) last weekend.
It is a tight battle in the latest Emirates Stakes odds with two rivals following very closely in the markets: international raiders Vadamos ($4.60) and Scottish ($5) drawn beside each other in barriers seven and six respectively.
The Andre Fabre-trained French galloper Vadamos has his second start down under this spring following a fourth to Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 22.
The Monson stallion should take improvement off that run, the losing margin in which is amplified by the fact Winx won by a record eight lengths, and historically the Cox Plate is the key Emirates Stakes lead-up.
Six of the past seven winners had their final lead-up in the Cox Plate, including fellow French visitor Gailo Chop (8th in 2015) last year.
Charlie Appleby’s British galloper Scottish meanwhile comes off a brave second to Jameka in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) from October 15.
William Buick takes over for McEvoy in the saddle of the Teofilo gelding who drops back to his preferred distance on Saturday, the horse boasting three wins and a third from four runs at 2000m to date.
Scottish goes up from 55kg to 59kg at weight-for-age however so will need to handle the extra kilos.
The next best in betting at double-figures is the rails-drawn Hauraki ($10) with James McDonald riding the John O’Shea-trained Reset stallion.
Hauraki enjoyed a Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) win in Sydney two back before his eighth in the Cox Plate, the same form Gailo Chop brought into the race last year.
Jumping from barrier one on Saturday, Hauraki is out to win from the inside alley in the race for the first time since Oliver Twist (2000) 16 years ago.
Barrier four has produced the most Emirates Stakes (Mackinnon) winners in the past 30 years and is drawn this season by Endless Drama ($13).
Chris Waller saddles-up the Irish expat first-up in the stallion’s Australian debut on Saturday on the back of a winning Cranbourne trial from late October.
Endless Drama is yet to win over further than a mile, but has Craig Williams riding chasing his second win in the race after his success aboard Alcopop (2012) four years ago.
Waller will also chase his first win in the Emirates Stakes with Vanbrugh ($19) who comes off a win in the Group 3 Coongy Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day.
See below for the full Emirates Stakes 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 Emirates Stakes Field, Barriers & Odds
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