The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Tony McEvoy-trained Hey Doc remains clear favourite in pre-field Australian Guineas 2017 odds to win the mile showdown at Flemington Racecourse this weekend.
There are still officially 41 three-year-old milers in the mix for the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), the final field for which is set for release on Wednesday morning.
Local horseman McEvoy could be in line for his maiden win in the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival clash with Duporth gelding Hey Doc who is in top form this campaign.
Third in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) during the spring, Hey Doc was last seen winning the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) second-up at Flemington on February 18.
That victory has him sitting as the firm $4 favourite in early Australian Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The CS Hayes Stakes has produced the past two Australian Guineas winners with Wandjina (2015) doing the double and Palentino (2nd in 2016).
As for the record of favourites in Australian Guineas betting saluting for the punters on race day, no top fancy has got the job done since Light Fantastic (2008) giving Hey Doc a hoodoo to overcome on Saturday.
Just one other three-year-old is currently under double-figures in futures Australian Guineas betting with Morton’s Fork at $9.
The Ad Valorem colt is prepared by John O’Shea for the Godolphin stable and is also a CS Hayes Stakes graduate having run three lengths away fourth to Hey Doc.
Morton’s Fork is proven at a mile having won the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) last November over the distance on the back of a nice second to Comin’ Through at Flemington in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m), so will relish getting back out over the metres.
The bookies are also keeping Land Of Plenty and Seaburge safe in betting pre-final acceptances at a $10 quote.
Grahame Begg prepares Stratum colt Land Of Plenty who is sweating on a start in the Australian Guineas field.
Currently the horse sits 28th on the Australian Guineas ballot, the race having a capacity field of just 16 starters plus four emergencies.
Land Of Plenty has won just one of his second starts to date, but came close when third in the CS Hayes Stakes second-up this prep.
Seaburge is assured of a start in the Group 1 for the flying Lindsay Park stable who enjoyed the 2017 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes win last Saturday with class filly Catchy.
Co-trainer David Hayes has prepared three previous Australian Guineas champions, most recently the filly Miss Finland (2007).
Sebring colt Seaburge ran 10th first-up in the CS Hayes, but is tipped as an improver getting back up to a mile based on his Caulfield Guineas second and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) second to Awesome Rock during the spring.
The Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet meanwhile is at $11 to do the double, for Team Hawkes and atone for a first-up ninth against the older horses behind Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 11.
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