Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Australia Stakes 2017 betting markets are now open on the hopeful sprinters facing off at Moonee Valley on Friday night and current favourite to take out the Group 2 is the Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart.
Set to run under the lights as Moonee Valley Race 7 at 9:30pm (AEDT), this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) has attracted a final field of only 10 runners.
Heading the line-up and drawn well in gate three with Brad Rawiller to ride is three-time Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart.
Last seen running ninth to superstar Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at the Moonee Valley track, the six-year-old Blackfriars gelding returns to the notoriously tight course for just the second time this weekend.
From six first-up runs to date Black Heart Bart boasts three wins and a second, and he also has plenty of winning form over the Australia Stakes distance (7-4-2-0).
His last 1200m run produced the Group 1 The Goodwood win in Adelaide last May, and he also finished runner-up to The Quarterback at Flemington last March in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Weir has also accepted for Palentino in the weight-for-age Australia Stakes field, the Teofilo four-year-old at longer odds of $11 to win his Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival kick-off.
The stallion has Damian Lane aboard on Friday in gate five and looks for his first win since beating Black Heart Bart home by a length last September over the Flemington mile in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
Shorter in the Australia Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and occupying the second line of betting behind Black Heart Bart at $3.80 is the Peter Gelagotis-trained Malaguerra.
A five-year-old son of Magnus, Malaguerra races for the first time since his close fifth to Takedown beaten a mere length in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth last November.
Prior to that the sprint specialist posted his fifth 1200m success taking out the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Third favourite in the Australia Stakes markets this season at $4.40 and the last of the single-figure fancies is Chetwood for John O’Shea and the Godolphin stable.
English hoop James Doyle is down under for the ride on the consistent son of Exceed And Excel.
Four-year-old Chetwood comes off a nice Randwick trial win from the start of January and hits the track under race conditions for the first time since his Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) victory back in October.
That was the gelding’s fourth win on the trot and he also has a stellar 1200m record (4-2-0-2) that he will be out to add to in Friday night’s Group 2.
Other key chances at longer odds after an upset Australia Stakes result include Murray Baker’s returning Futurity Stakes winning Kiwi Turn Me Loose ($17) and Gelagotis’s other runner Mourinho ($17) who will both improve getting out over more distance later in the season.
Check out the full Australia Stakes 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win betting markets provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
2017 Australia Stakes Field, Barriers & Odds
Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2021 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.