Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
A gun field of mares will face off in one of the key Flemington support races on Makybe Diva Stakes Day including I Am A Star who holds narrow favouritism in the Let’s Elope Stakes 2017 betting markets.
Set to run as Flemington Race 6 at 3:35pm (AEST) on a card headlined by Hartnell running in the Makybe Diva Stakes, this year’s Group 2 $200,000 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) has attracted a capacity line-up of mares with 16 confirmed starters and two emergencies.
Drawn in barrier five, into four with emergencies out, the Shane Nichols-trained four-year-old is out to improve on two unplaced runs this time in.
The daughter of I Am Invincible was last seen crossing seventh to Vega Magic at Caulfield in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
She drops back in grade and takes on her own kind this weekend returning to her preferred track.
To date I Am A Star has had four Flemington runs for a trio of wins, most notably the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) last Victoria Derby Day that again shapes up as a nice spring target.
She also won the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at the track and distance in March and showed her class finishing under two lengths third in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide during the winter.
At set weights plus penalties, I Am A Star (59kg) carries top weight giving the kilos away, but should still prove hard to hold out late if Damien Oliver can get her into a nice position.
Second and third elects in the Let’s Elope Stakes odds are early market mover Oregon’s Day ($5) and Swampland ($5.50) drawn at opposite ends of the field in barriers 16 and four respectively.
Mick Price saddles-up Domesday four-year-old Oregon’s Day who comes off a nice win against a similar field in a mares’ handicap over 1400m at Caulfield two weeks ago.
The Group 3 winner carried 55kg in that and remains a winning hope going up two kilos on Saturday as she improves fitness-wise.
Swampland for Henry Dwyer ran second in the same lead-up race under a neck off the winner, the four-year-old daughter of Redwood having won back-to-back Flemington races over the 1400m before that.
She was successful at the track / distance as a filly in late July, coming back on August 12 for an impressive two and a half-length victory in a Benchmark 84 defeating Samovare.
The improver carried 55kg on the weekend looking to return to winning form after the luckless run last time out, and will get things her way from the gate stepping up in grade with Chris Symons in the saddle again.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies at $7 is the Ciaron Maher-trained Reaan five-year-old Schism, another graduate out of the Oregon’s Day-won race when just over three lengths back fourth.
Of the longer-priced Let’s Elope Stakes fancies those with genuine claims include Darren Weir’s now four-year-old High Chaparral mare Jennifer Lynn ($12) who won a black-type over 1400m at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day last November, locally-trained Sword Of Light ($12) coming off a very close Cockram Stakes fifth only a length beaten at Caulfield two weeks ago and the returning daughter of Smart Missile Exocet ($21) who has been trialling well.
Check out the full Let’s Elope Stakes 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds on the spring showdown below – pricing open now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Let’s Elope Stakes Field, Barriers & Odds
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