The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Christmas Stakes 2016 steals the show on Boxing Day in Melbourne and below are our inside tips plus the updated odds on the Caulfield Racecourse sprint.
Running as Race 6 at 4:40pm (AEDT) on the eight event card, the $120,000 Listed Ian McLeod Christmas Stakes (1200m) field features a dozen class gallopers.
Heading the current Christmas Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.60 for the win is the widely-drawn Duke Of Brunswick who the bookies are taking no chances with despite his gate 11 of 12 draw.
Mick Price prepares the Magnus five-year-old who races for the first time since August and who boasts a strong Caulfield track record of two wins and three thirds from six starts.
He is also a gun over the 1200m with three wins and two seconds from seven runs over the distance and has Damien Oliver riding on the long weekend.
Occupying the second line of Christmas Stakes betting at Monday meet at $4.80 and firming is Sir Bacchus, a Craig Newitt mount drawn in gate nine.
Chris Waller trains the smart Sebring four-year-old who won over 1200m at Moonee Valley on October 21 before a sixth down the straight at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in Listed class.
Sir Bacchus has won five of his eight runs at 1200m, but Saturday marks his first look at Caulfield.
Four other runners are also under $10 in the latest markets including Grande Rosso ($7) who comes into the race in top form.
Lindsay Park’s Written Tycoon five-year-old was last seen winning the Vobis Gold Bullion (1400m) at Pakenham on December 3.
He’s yet to win over less than that and from five runs over 1200m his best result was a second at Mornington in February last year.
Despite the metres being short of his best, Grande Rosso is being kept safe in the markets.
Local gallopers Murt The Flirt and Lucky Liberty at $8 each also shape up as looming dangers, the latter drawn to get the run of the race from the inside alley.
With so many hopes at single-figures to win should you stick to the best in betting or tip an upset Christmas Stakes result this Boxing Day?
#7 Smart Dart ($13)
Going the value in an open market with this flying Cindy Alderson-trained six-year-old overs at double-figures. The son of Bel Esprit has seven wins at the 1200m including at Pakenham last time out at the start of the month. This is a tougher class of rivals, but Exclusive Lass (2nd) and It Is Written (3rd) who he beat then are no donkeys. The rise from 52kg to 55.5kg is manageable and he’ll get things his way from a gun gate five draw.
#10 Lucky Liberty ($8)
Henry Dwyer saddles-up Statue Of Liberty gelding Lucky Liberty from barrier one, a barrier he finished fifth to Grande Rosso from over 1400m on December 3. He was stretched at those metres and is undefeated at 1200m (4-4-0-0), which he’ll enjoy being back to here. Rarely runs a bad race, is lightly-raced with five wins from 10 career starts to date including a Caulfield win at his only start at the track under 58.5kg. Top lead-up, rock hard fit, big danger.
#5 Sir Bacchus ($4.80)
Plenty of boxes ticked by Waller’s runner who has all the upside and has been freshened-up since his Melbourne Cup Day run. Yet to see Caulfield, but the track should suit and he’s a five-time winner at the distance. Craig Newitt in the saddle and has a strong winning strike rate.
Back our exclusive Boxing Day racing tips at Caulfield at the best prices online now at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
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