The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
One of the key support acts on the Coolmore Classic Day card in Sydney on Saturday is the Phar Lap Stakes 2018 for three-year-olds, betting for which has the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained filly Shumookh as the red hot favourite.
Set to run as Rosehill Race 6 at 3:30pm (AEDT), this year’s Group 2 $200,000 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) attracted a dozen young hopefuls including five fillies taking on the colts and geldings.
The girls have a good recent record in the race including wins by the Chris Waller-trained champion Winx (2015) and her stablemate Foxplay (2017) last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
This season the Phar Lap Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are all about the progressive Dream Ahead filly Shumookh who has firmed in from $2.80 to $2.70 after drawing well in barrier five.
Jockey Tim Clark continues his association with the lightly-raced favourite who boats a win and three minor placings from her four career starts to date.
She comes off a string of good Randwick runs including holding her own on January 20 when narrow runner-up to Waller’s subsequent Hobartville Stakes third placegetter D’Argento over 1300m.
Shumookh has faced her own kind in her two latest runs when finishing a devastatingly close second behind Alizee in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) last month before the brave third when under a length beaten by Shoals in the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) on March 3.
She is now tipped to enjoy a drop back in grade and weight for her clash against the colts and geldings here.
Following Shumookh in the Phar Lap Stakes betting markets are three equal $7.50 second favourites: Holy Snow, Muraaqeb and Renewal.
Mick Price saddles-up Fastnet Rock colt Holy Snow who races in Sydney for the first time.
The Victorian visitor won the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) first-up at Caulfield before a fifth to Grunt in Flemington’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) last start.
This is easier and he looks fit third-up, but needs to handle the opposite way of racing and a wide barrier 10 draw.
The flying Lindsay Park stable are represented by Snitzel colt Muraaqeb who is also coming off an unplaced Australian Guineas run over the mile at Flemington when crossing one further back for sixth.
Having his 11th career run on Saturday, Muraaqeb is also in Sydney for the first time here and is after his maiden black-type success after a number of close calls.
Renewal is the form horse in the Phar Lap Stakes field, the Hawkes Racing-trained son of Dream Ahead having won three of his four career starts including his last two on the trot in easier grade.
His latest on February 28 produced a 1300m win at the Rosehill track in a Benchmark 74 earning the gelding a shot in Group company on Saturday from barrier nine with Brenton Avdulla retaining the ride.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies is then the early Phar Lap Stakes market mover Calculated backed in from $10 to $8 to salute from gate six with Craig Williams in the saddle.
A well-bred son of So You Think, Calculated represents last year’s winning trainer Waller and has been freshened-up since his last start third to Pierata at the Gold Coast in January’s Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m).
Check out the full Phar Lap Stakes 2018 field and betting markets below, odds open now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2018 Phar Lap Stakes Field & Odds
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