The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Showtime has opened narrow favourite in 2017 Stutt Stakes betting for Friday night under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse, the Team Hawkes-trained colt battling it out in the markets with two other keen milers.
Closing the Moir Stakes Night card as Moonee Valley Race 8 at 10pm (AEST), this season’s Group 2 $200,000 Johnnie Walker Stutt Stakes (1600m) has attracted a dozen three-year-olds.
The son of Snitzel won over 1200m by over four lengths at Wyong two back before a last start fifth behind the undefeated Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas favourite Royal Symphony at Flemington on September 16 in the Listed Exford Plate (1400m).
That form around gun youngster Royal Symphony has the bookies taking no chances with Showtime at The Valley next-up, especially as he was beaten under three lengths.
Friday night is his first look at a mile, but his other Moonee Valley run produced a second back in late March and a good midfield barrier seven draw has the horse right in the mix.
Occupying the second and third lines of Stutt Stakes betting respectively are Azazel ($3.30) and Masculino ($4) drawn at opposite ends of the track in barriers 11 and two.
A stablemate of Royal Symphony, the Tony McEvoy-trained grey Azazel chases his first win since early August and also has form around one of the season’s best three-year-olds.
After a close fourth when only one and a quarter-lengths beaten in a Moonee Valley black-type in late August, the colt finished two and a quarter-lengths back seventh behind Ladbrokes Blue Diamond winner Catchy down the Flemington straight in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m).
He gets the chance to improve on that this weekend, but will need to be improving stepping up notably in distance.
Masculino meanwhile should easily handle the metres after a nice win at the track on September 9 over 1509m in a three-years-old handicap.
That was the Mick Price-trained Smart Missile colt’s second win this time in, giving him an impressive three-from-four record to date.
He handles the track and the distance is a non-issue, plus Masculino gets things his way from the alley only needing to handle the step-up in weight meeting these rivals even in the kilos.
No other runners are under double-figures in the Stutt Stakes odds this spring, but there could be value tipping an upset from the likes of The Mission ($17) or early market mover Holy Snow ($12).
The Mission won Sydney’s Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) during the autumn so is proven at the mile, but was disappointing as a $101 roughie last weekend finishing second last in Rosehill’s Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m).
He will enjoy the extra metres on Friday evening and the drop in grade, but is yet to run the Melbourne way and is on the quick turnaround.
Holy Snow is an untapped Fastnet Rock colt, one of Price’s three other acceptors in the race, and comes off a Pakenham win over 1400m on the synthetic track from September 12.
Check out the full Stutt Stakes 2017 field, barriers and latest Moonee Valley racing odds below with pricing provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Stutt Stakes Field, Barriers & Odds
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