The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
She narrowly missed out on a win first-up but the bookmakers are willing to forgive and forget, installing Blue Diamond winning filly Catchy as the favourite in the 2017 Danehill Stakes field and betting at Flemington Racecourse this Saturday.
A key feature of Makybe Diva Stakes Day on the weekend, this season’s Group 2 $200,000 Danehill Stakes (1200m) is set to run down the straight as Flemington Race 5 at 2:55pm.
The official Danehill Stakes field has attracted 11 three-year-old sprinters and the latest markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have the Lindsay Park-trained Fastnet Rock filly Catchy as the narrow $3.90 favourite.
She chases her first victory since saluting at Caulfield in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) in late February, which was followed by her dead last on a mud Rosehill track behind She Will Reign in the Golden Slipper.
First-up Catchy raced in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 19, beaten a neck by Crown Witness.
This weekend she will strip fitter and look to get back to winning form dropping back to 56kg taking on the boys at set weights plus penalties.
Hot on her heels and occupying the second line of Danehill Stakes betting this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival at $4.40 is the rails-drawn Esperance for Godolphin.
The undefeated James Cummings-trained son of Bernardini is up in class being tested in his first black-type assignment.
Esperance has already made a big impact however winning on debut by eight lengths over 1100m at Echuca in late July before a first-up victory carrying 60kg over 1200m at Sandown-Lakeside on August 16.
A month between runs has the gelding ready to fire again dropping back to 56kg, jockey Craig Williams replaced in the saddle by Kerrin McEvoy.
Close third and fourth favourites to take out this year’s Danehill Stakes rounding out the single-figure fancies are Jukebox ($5) and Booker ($5.50) both drawn well in gates two and four respectively.
The Ciaron Maher-trained Snitzel colt Jukebox is yet to taste defeat having won all three of his starts so far, including the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) first-up at Caulfield on August 19.
This is his first look down the straight however and how he handles the famous Flemington 1200m will be key to him retaining that undefeated status.
Booker represents local training duo Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra, the Written Tycoon filly the other best fancied female in the mix outside of Catchy.
She won over 1100m at Flemington on debut in the winter so handles the straight, before a Group 3 second at Morphettville as the beaten odds-on favourite.
Last start on September 2 Booker more than handled the boys when a devastatingly close second behind Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas fancy Merchant Navy in the Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m).
There’s also been a tickle of early money for Summer Passage, a Kiwi raider who has his first run in Melbourne and is first-up after a surprise second to Invader in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick back on April 1.
Check out the full Danehill Stakes 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds on the race below – pricing open now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Danehill Stakes Field, Barriers & Odds
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