Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
A field of potential Adelaide Cup horses do battle in the Lord Reims Stakes 2018 field at Morphettville Racecourse on Saturday, betting on the autumn staying clash a wide-open affair.
Set to run as Morphettville Race 7, this season’s Group 3 $120,000 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) attracted ten final acceptors and in the latest markets at Ladbrokes.com.au half of those are at single-figures for the win.
The Lord Reims Stakes is a traditional early lead-up into the popular Group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Cup (3200m) held back at the track on March 12 over the two miles.
Last year’s Lord Reims Stakes winner Master Of Arts went on to run third in the Adelaide Cup trifecta, but the double hasn’t been completed since Apace King (2001).
The Darren Weir-trained reigning champion Master Of Arts is back to defend his title on the weekend, the now six-year-old grey paying $4 to go back-to-back in the event for the first time since the race’s now namesake Lord Reims (1988-89).
The Mastercraftsman entire hasn’t won a race since taking this out last autumn, but still the bookies are taking no chances on him as he is undefeated over the distance and boasts a top Morphettville record (3:2-0-1).
Master Of Arts occupies the second line of Lord Reims Stakes betting and trails only the Matt Cumani-trained favourite Etah James ($3.50).
Drawn gate six and getting in on just 53kg at set weights plus penalties, Raise The Flag mare Etah James has her first start in Adelaide on the weekend and is out to add to her strong career strike rate.
Lightly-raced having had just the nine starts to date, the Ballarat-based bay is a five-time winner in easier company.
Her latest victory was at Caulfield in mid-December over 2420m before a New Year’s Day second in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington.
She is out to atone for an unplaced fifth as the beaten odds-on favourite at Sandown-Lakeside over 2100m from February 14 and will relish coming right back from 58.5kg that day and will also eat-up the extra metres.
The early Lord Reims Stakes market mover backed into $5 is Jim’s Journey having his 24th start at the Morphettville track.
Peter Blanch’s local Good Journey six-year-old was last seen running second in the Listed Birthday Cup (2035m) and has winning form over the distance.
This is the third time Jim’s Journey lines-up in a Lord Reims Stakes field after his fourth in 2016 to Signoff and third in the trifecta last year.
Following closely in the markets are the ultra-consistent Grant Young-trained Blevic six-year-old Exalted Lightning ($6.50) coming off the Birthday Cup win and veteran eight-year-old Benzini ($7.50) from New Zealand, drawn at opposite ends of the field in barriers ten and one respectively.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies at $9.50 is the Mick Price-trained Melbourne visitor Cry If I Want To, the Street Cry mare facing a notable rise in distance.
Check out the full Lord Reims Stakes 2018 field, barriers and latest Adelaide racing odds below courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.
2018 Lord Reims Stakes Field & Odds
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