The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Four-year-old Sydney raider Deploy has opened narrow favourite in 2017 WJ Healy Stakes betting for this weekend as the smart sprinter looks for back-to-back Doomben wins this winter.
Closing the Tattersall’s Tiara Day card as Doomben Race 8 at 4:32pm (AEST) on Saturday, this season’s $175,000 Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) has drawn a final field of 16 short-distance specialists.
Rising from 53kg to 56.5kg is the current top fancy in the WJ Healy Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, the Gerald Ryan-trained Fastnet Rock gelding Deploy ($4).
He had his first Doomben run on June 3 winning the Group 2 Moreton Cup (1200m) and is tipped to salute at the same track and distance on Saturday despite carrying 3.5kg extra kilos on his back.
Jockey Tim Clark retains the ride and Deploy drew well mid-field with barrier eight.
The big danger according to the early WJ Healy Stakes betting markets is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained 60.5kg top weight Dothraki.
The talented Mossman six-year-old gives the kilos away to his rivals and also needs luck from a wide barrier 14 draw, but the bookies are taking no chances installing Dothraki as the $6 second elect.
Queensland hoop Damian Browne is booked to take over for Hugh Bowman in the saddle with the horse out to turn the tables on Deploy have the close Moreton Cup second earlier this month.
Saturday marks Dothraki’s fifth Doomben run, the sprinter boasting three top three runs at the track including a Group 1 second to Malaguerra last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
It is an open affair for the last in Brisbane on Saturday with a further three WJ Healy Stakes acceptors currently under double-figures for the win including Flippant ($7).
First-up for Team Snowden and drawn a treat in barrier two for veteran hoop Jim Byrne, the consistent Hinchinbrook mare has her first start since a third to Dixie Blossoms in the Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) on a Heavy (10) Randwick track in late February.
The smart four-year-old has won five of her 15 career starts so far, including her sole Doomben assignment in black-type company in the winter of 2015, and comes off a winning Rosehill trial from June 13.
Rounding out the runners under $10 are the rails-drawn Burning Passion ($8.50) and Too Good To Refuse ($9) in barrier four.
James Cummings’ Northern Meteor five-year-old Burning Passion comes off a 1200m Eagle Farm win in the wet from late May carrying 57kg and will relish the drop to 54.5kg on Saturday, but would prefer a rain-affected track.
Too Good To Refuse has Robbie Fradd in the saddle on Saturday once again after the Desleigh Forster-trained local four-year-old Rothesay stallion ran second to Miss Gunpowder in a Listed 1200m Doomben race on Stradbroke Handicap Day a fortnight back.
Other notable hopes in the mix include Toowoomba-trained sprinter Upstart Pride ($14), Conatus mare Palazzo Pubblico ($14) and Daybreak Lover Stakes winning filly All Over Bosanova ($16).
2017 WJ Healy Stakes Field, Barriers & Odds
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