The Lindsay Park stable are eyeing the Sir...
Peter Gelagotis’s well-bred colt Levendi returns to racing on Saturday at Caulfield Racecourse and is a first-up favourite in Autumn Stakes 2018 betting.
A key support act on the Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes Day card in Melbourne, this season’s Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) originally drew a final field of 14 three-year-olds.
The early scratching of the Mick Price-trained Cao Cao (11) however leaves 13 hopefuls in the early Group 1 $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) lead-up.
Heading the latest Autumn Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au on Caulfield Race 7 is a son of Pierro, Levendi paying $4.80 to win his campaign kick-off.
After a sixth in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last October, the up-and-coming miler improved in his final spring run winning the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on VRC Derby Day.
A winner of both of his previous first-up runs, this weekend Levendi is tipped to make it three-from-three when resuming.
If successful in the Autumn Stakes results, Levendi is sure to firm in futures Australian Guineas odds that he currently pays $9 to take out at Flemington on March 3.
Close second favourite in Autumn Stakes betting and the market mover backed in from $6.50 to $5.50 is the consistent Aaron Purcell-trained Villermont.
The All Too Hard colt has won two of his four career starts to date including most notably the Group 3 Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Ladbrokes Park last November.
In the lead-up to Saturday’s return the bay put in a nice effort over 1000m in a Geelong trial on January 29 when second to Despatch.
Despite the size of the field just two other runners are under $10 in the set weights plus penalties event with Prevailing Winds ($8) and Island Missile ($8.50) looking the dangers according to the bookies.
Premier Victorian horseman Darren Weir saddles-up Exceed And Excel gelding Prevailing Winds in the Autumn Stakes field, the last start Moonee Valley winner having work to do from the outside barrier.
A winner of three of his 10 career starts, this is a notable rise in grade for Prevailing Winds who is as yet untested in stakes grade.
Island Missile could prove a value bet at the price, the son of Smart Missile drawn ideally mid-field in barrier six with Dwayne Dunn riding the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained galloper.
Two Sydney seconds have led-up to the Autumn Stakes for Island Missile, including the half-length effort over this distance at Randwick in early January.
There was nothing between him and the winner Bella Martini last time out in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) and back to his pet distance (3:2-1-0), Island Missile has fitness and ability on his side.
Of the double-figure hopefuls the standouts include returning Victoria Derby winner Astoria ($15) who will only improve the further he goes this autumn and the other Purcell-trained runner in the mix Black Sail ($11) who is a perennial placegetter including the Sandown Guineas second last time out.
2018 Autumn Stakes Field & Odds
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