A favourable barrier one draw has seen the John O’Shea-trained Circular firm into favouritism for the Matron Stakes 2017 at Flemington Racecourse this Saturday in Melbourne.
Run as the Schweppervescence Trophy, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Matron Stakes (1600m) is set to jump as Flemington Race 6 at 3:15pm (AEDT) on ‘Super Saturday’.
A capacity field of sixteen fillies and mares is in the mix for the mile showdown including the Godolphin-raced Circular drawn the inside alley with the ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira there to weave his magic.
Circular is the early market mover backed in from $7 to $6 and sits top of the Matron Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to win third-up.
A winner of back-to-back races including the Goulburn Cup over the 1600m last time in, the Street Cry four-year-old comes off two unplaced Group 2 runs in Sydney this season.
She was only one and a half-lengths beaten when fifth behind In Her Time in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) before running sixth to the same mare – who is a 2017 Coolmore Classic fancy in Sydney on Saturday – in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m).
The step up to her pet distance (4-2-1-0) should suit Circular on the weekend and she only needs to handle the left-handed way of racing for her Melbourne debut at career start number eighteen to win.
There are just three other single-figure hopes in Matron Stakes betting despite the size of the field, including the $6.50 co-second favourites Miss Rose De Lago carrying top weight (58.5kg) and Pure Pride on 54kg.
Damien Oliver rides the Danny O’Brien-trained six-year-old Miss Rose De Lago from a good barrier three draw on the weekend, the former Perth-trained mare after her first win since the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in August last year.
She was last seen running a close second-up third to Silent Sedition in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) and is a proven miler with winning form up to 1600m.
The test for Miss Rose De Lago will be the weight and the fact Flemington is not her preferred track as she has had just the one second place finish from six starts at the course.
Murray Johnson prepares the Seymour-based Shocking mare Pure Pride who is drawn out in gate 15 with Ben Melham in the saddle of the nicely-bred four-year-old.
Pure Pride ran fifth in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at this track and distance in the spring and was last seen resuming with an eye-catching third over 1400m at Flemington.
She carted a hefty 60kg to the narrow placing first-up and will relish the drop back in weight in her weekend assignment, stripping fitter two runs into her autumn.
Rounding out the best in betting is Abbey Marie ($7) out in gate 13 with Luke Nolen in the saddle of Michael Kent’s Group 1 winner.
The now four-year-old daughter of Redoute’s Choice won Adelaide’s Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) defeating Silent Sedition last May as a filly.
She has had two runs at Caulfield this February including her Mannerism Stakes fourth when just over one and half lengths off the winner.
Check out the full Matron Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds on the race known as the 2017 Schweppervescence Trophy courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.