The black-type Melbourne feature at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday is the Bel Esprit Stakes 2017 and it is shaping-up as a wide open edition of the late autumn sprint.
Due to run as Caulfield Race 7 at 3:55pm (AEST), this season’s $120,000 Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) has attracted fourteen final acceptors.
In a tough pick for the punters to make, five of the runners are currently sitting at single-figures in the Bel Esprit Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Narrow $6 favourite despite a wide barrier eleven draw is 54kg light-weight Rocket Tommy chasing a fourth consecutive win.
Gwenda Johnstone’s Hold That Tiger five-year-old has been in flying form, including his last start Flemington win over 1000m on ‘Super Saturday’.
The grey overcame barrier 15 of 15 to beat home Bullpit in that Benchmark 90 and the bookies are taking no chances in him doing the same from another wide alley in stakes’ class this weekend.
Equal second elects in Bel Esprit Stakes betting at $7 each are Faatinah and Kaepernick higher up the weights with 59kg and 58.5kg respectively.
Lindsay Park-trained Nicconi four-year-old Faatinah is down in grade after finishing well back behind Russian Revolution in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on a mud Rosehill track on Golden Slipper Day.
He will appreciate firmer going in Melbourne this Saturday and prior to The Galaxy showed off his form with a second behind Sheidel as a $41 roughie in Caulfield’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
Kaepernick is drawn to get a gun run from gate four in the Bel Esprit Stakes with Dwayne Dunn to ride the Team Hawkes-trained son of Fastnet Rock.
He too is back in class after back-to-back Melbourne Group 1 runs this autumn, most recently running under three lengths seventh to Silent Sedition at Moonee Valley in the William Reid Stakes (1200m).
Close third pick for the Group 3 at $7.50 is the Ciaron Maher-trained mare Petits Filous who is undefeated at Caulfield (2-2-0-0) and over Saturday’s distance (3-3-0-0), before Crystal Dreamer ($8.50) rounds out the gallopers under $10 for the win coming off a victory at the track from April 8.
Other notable Bel Esprit Stakes runners include the returning Mahuta ($12) carrying 60kg top weight for his first run in eight months and Malibu Style ($10) from Perth who ran second to Crystal Dreamer a fortnight back in his maiden Melbourne run.
See below for the full Bel Esprit Stakes 2017 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.