Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Racing in Melbourne today centres around the Ladbrokes Feehan Stakes 2019 at The Valley where betting on the Cox Plate qualifier is led by easing favourite Homesman.
This weekend marks the first run from Liam Howley’s War Front six-year-old since his devastatingly close second in last October’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Ready to kick off what could be another profitable spring campaign for owner Lloyd Williams, Homesman runs first-up in the Group 2 $250,000 Ladbrokes Feehan Stakes (1600m).
Runner-up in the event last year before winning the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), the American-bred galloper is drawn wide in barrier 13 of 15 with Ben Melham booked for the ride.
With a credible fresh record and two seconds from two runs at the mile, Homesman remains top of Feehan Stakes betting at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
The top elect is on the drift however out from $4.20 to $4.80 to take out the event and win a ballot free ride into the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) back at the track in late October.
The second favourite and market mover in the Ladbrokes Feehan Stakes odds is Doomben Cup winning mare Kenedna who opened as long as $11 before firming right into $5.50.
Drawn gate seven with John Allen to ride, the David Eustace & Ciaron Maher-trained daughter of Not A Single Doubt is second-up from a spell.
She resumed at Caulfield on August 17 when finishing a mid-field seventh behind Cox Plate favourite Mystic Journey in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and is set to relish the extra distance this weekend.
“Her run was very good first-up,” co-trainer Maher told AAP.
“Her last sectional was quite strong.
“She ran well second-up at The Valley over a mile last preparation and it’s a similar type scenario. She seems in very good order.”
There are three other single-figure hopes in Feehan Stakes betting including Best Of Days and Fifty Stars both at $7.
Godolphin galloper Best Of Days is second-up after a Sydney run in the season’s opening Group 1 race, the Azamour gelding only two lengths beaten when seventh behind upset winner Samadoubt in Randwick’s Winx Stakes (1400m).
Fitter for the run, the import is undefeated over the mile and won Flemington’s Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) over the distance last November.
“The report after his gallop on Tuesday was that he felt fantastic,” trainer James Cummings told the Herald Sun this week.
“He had a good lung burner there (at The Valley) on top of a first-up run that will have brought him on really nicely.
“He had an abbreviated autumn, but was solid first-up behind Samadoubt in the Group 1.
“He’s a Group 1 winner at his ideal distance, but there’s quality opposition to handle here. It’ll be a good test.”
Fifty Stars is also second-up in the Feehan Stakes in Melbourne, the Lindsay Park-trained Sea The Stars stallion sixth in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes when resuming.
Rounding out the hopes under $10 for the win is then stablemate Sikandarabad ($8), the fellow David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained runner fourth in the Lawrence Stakes last time out.
The 2019 Ladbrokes Feehan Stakes is set to run as Moonee Valley Race 8 at 4:50pm this afternoon.
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