Sydney’s sole Group status race on the weekend is the Festival Stakes 2016, betting on the Rosehill Gardens feature a tight early battle between the in-form duo of Religify and Rageese.
Due to jump as Rosehill Race 8 at 5:00pm (AEDT) as the penultimate event on the card, this season’s $150,000 Group 3 The Steel Builders Festival Stakes (1500m) originally drew a final field of 14 hopefuls.
The line-up for the handicap clash is now down to 13 after the early scratching of the John O’Shea-trained Duca Valentinois (13).
The bookmakers are having a hard time separating the top two fancies in Festival Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au with two of the country’s best stables well represented in the markets.
Currently sitting top of the Festival Stakes odds at $4 is Religify for Sydney’s Chris Waller, the Choisir six-year-old a Rosehill specialist boasting five wins and a second from nine starts at the track.
He comes off a string of minor placings this campaign around Sydney and the last start win over 1400m in the November Handicap from November 19.
Religify won that race by 2.3 lengths and now chases his first win over further than that distance dropping a kilo to 57.5kg on Saturday.
Rageese is also a last start winner, the Darren Weir-trained Street Cry stallion having saluted by a length at Flemington on Oaks Day in the Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m).
He travels to Sydney for the first time since September of 2015 when he crossed fourth to Exosphere in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) and third in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) behind Press Statement.
Those are strong Sydney form lines and he proved his class with the Group 3 win during the Melbourne Cup Carnival at home, but the stallion does go up notably from 54kg in the Chatham to 57.5kg this weekend and is out to $5.50 to win the Festival Stakes.
Three other runners are also currently under $10 for the win at Ladbrokes.com.au with Extensible ($7.50), genuine market mover Hazzabeel ($8) and the top weight Amovatio ($9.50).
Peter & Paul Snowden saddle-up Exceed And Excel mare Extensible who comes off a string of top Sydney and Melbourne runs over the spring.
She won over 1400m here in late September before a fourth in the Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
Her latest run was at Sandown when travelling on November 12 for a third in the Group 3 Summoned Stakes (1500m) that she’s out to improve on returning to her pet track (5-2-2-1) and dropping to the 54kg minimum in the Festival Stakes with barrier three to boot.
The Ciaron Maher-trained Zabeel six-year-old Hazzabeel is out for back-to-back wins after his nice effort over the mile on November 20 in the Listed Kilmore Cup (1600m), but is yet to race in Sydney.
Amovatio meanwhile is another Waller-trained chance in the race giving the weight away with Tommy Berry riding on 59kg.
The Al Maher gelding is third-up and comes off a brave fourth to Rageese in the Chatham Stakes.
The kilos work against him but he does have plenty of form at Rosehill and over the Festival Stakes distance (6-1-3-1).
See below for the latest Festival Stakes 2016 betting odds, fixed win pricing now open at Ladbrokes.com.au where first time depositing players that quote the code BETBONUS are eligible for up to $500 in bonus match bets (T&Cs apply / excluding NSW).