The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Darren Weir’s stallion Master Of Arts has firmed into second favouritism in 2017 Adelaide Cup betting ahead of the two mile classic next Monday following a Group 3 win over the weekend.
A key lead-up into the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) was run and won at Morphettville Racecourse last Saturday with Master Of Arts saluting for the punters in the $120,000 Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m).
In his second run at the South Australian track, the grey Mastercraftsman five-year-old retained his unbeaten status at the course with a quarter-length win over the Wayne Walters-trained Puccini.
The Lord Reims Stakes trifecta was rounded out by Jim’s Journey and all three horses are among the official 2017 Adelaide Cup Nominations.
Master Of Arts carried 56.5kg to victory in the Lord Reims Stakes and will drop down to 54kg in the Adelaide Cup weights on March 13.
His weekend win was a nice improvement on a lead-up eighth of nine runners behind Northwest Passage in the Listed Torney Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley and has him spot-on for a step up to 3200m in the Adelaide Cup.
Current all-in Adelaide Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by the Robert Hickmott-trained import Bondi Beach ($5).
The former Irish galloper is a five-year-old son of Galileo who has won four of his 11 career starts to date.
Bondi Beach has had two runs in Australia contesting the past two editions of the iconic Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
He ran 16th to Weir-trained Prince Of Penzance in 2015 and 13th to now stablemate Almandin, also raced by Hickmott for prolific owner Lloyd Williams, last spring.
Bondi Beach is the equal 59kg top weight for the Adelaide Cup this autumn along with the Lindsay Park-trained Almoonqith who is at $26 for the win.
Master Of Arts meanwhile has firmed right into $6 occupying the second line of all-in Adelaide Cup 2017 betting.
The other single-figure fancy is Annus Mirabilis ($9) for Stuart Webb, the gelding having run three lengths away fifth to Big Memory at Flemington in the Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) on Australian Guineas Day.
Other key fancies for the Adelaide Cup Monday week include the fellow Hickmott-trained duo of Torney Cup runner-up Chance To Dance ($11) and reigning Herbert Power Stakes winner Assign ($15).
The aforementioned equal top-weight Almoonqith meanwhile is one of three entries for last year’s winning trainers David and Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig who took out the race with Purple Smile (2016).
Almoonqith failed in the Roy Higgins Quality over the weekend running last (12th) and is an unlikely final acceptor into the capacity 20-starter Adelaide Cup field as is veteran stablemate Jileks Spur.
Hayes could still attempt back-to-back Adelaide Cup wins however with Honey Steel’s Gold, a part-time jumps horse last seen winning the Marong Cup (2200m) at Bendigo on February 18.
Check out the latest Adelaide Cup 2017 odds below, pricing open now at Ladbrokes.com.au, with the final field set for release on Wednesday.
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