Ten-time Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Melody Belle...
An early flood of money has seen the Ciaron Maher trained Jukebox a firming favourite in the betting for the Group 3 $150,000 Ladbrokes Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Jukebox opened at $3.90 when betting commenced shortly after the final field was released on Wednesday and the Snitzel colt is now the $3 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au courtesy of some solid support which included one bet of $769 @ $3.60.
Jukebox will be having his first run back since finishing fourteenth to Merchant Navy in the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on the first day of the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival in November and has drawn barrier six in the eight horse Sir John Monash Stakes field.
Premiership front runner Craig Williams has been aboard Jukebox for all of his six race starts to date and will be aboard again in the weekend.
Maher looks set to miss Jukebox’s return to the race track after being rushed to hospital this morning with a suspected broken femur after being thrown from his Caulfield Cup winning mare Jameka at track work.
Jukebox has won an 800m Cranbourne barrier trial on May 7 and his work since has pleased Maher who said earlier in the week that he expects the colt to perform well first up.
“He has come up quite well. He had a trial at Cranbourne and showed that he had come back really well and that is what I wanted to see,” Maher said.
“We got him ready just at an odd time of the year just to see how he was and he smoked up pretty well.
“We have just given him a freshen up and set him for these two races, the Sir John Monash and the Bletchingly.”
“He had another slick gallop here this morning (Tuesday) on the course proper just to tighten him up a little bit more and I think he is coming together really really well.”
“He has got good form here, the 1100m should be no problem. He seems nice and sharp and well and he is right to go on Saturday.”
The Darren Weir trained Voodoo Lad in on the second line of betting and has also firmed in the market from $4.60 to $4.20 and will find this an easier assignment coming off a last start fifteenth to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 9.
Next in the betting at $4.80 is the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Crystal Dreamer who is facing the starter for the first time since running third in the Listed $120,000 ATA/Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on March 3.
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