Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
The punters are backing the Sydney form-line to stack-up in Melbourne this Saturday with Godolphin’s George Main Stakes winner Avilius firming favourite in 2019 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes betting.
It is an outstanding edition of the Group 1 $1 million Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) this Caulfield Guineas Day with 11 class gallopers set to face off in the weight-for-age feature that serves as a gun lead-up into the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
Current second-elect in all-in Cox Plate betting at $5.50 is Avilius who is at $2.35 heading the Caulfield Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to win another elite level on the weekend.
Drawn in gate seven with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride on the James Cummings-trained son of Pivotal, Avilius was last seen saluting third-up by 2.3 lengths at Randwick in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 21.
He now heads south for his first Melbourne run since an unplaced effort at Flemington when fifth only 1.4 lengths beaten as the odds-on favourite in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) back in March.
Avilius has had two runs at the Caulfield track for two wins and also won Sydney’s Group 1 Ranvet Stakes – Tancred Stakes double following his Australian Cup loss.
“He’s going to use the Caulfield Stakes as a lead-up to the Cox Plate but his focus is on the Caulfield Stakes at the moment and I think there’s plenty at stake because the competition is just so strong there,” Cummings told the media this week.
“He was storming to the line in the George Main third-up and he should be perfectly ready with three weeks between runs now coming into the Caulfield Stakes.
“I think the competition is really deep and he’s going to really need to step up and keep proving that he’s right up to that mark as one of the premier weight-for-age middle distance horses around.
“I’m really happy with him and he’s looking fantastic.
“I think the horse is ready to do the talking himself.”
Despite the depth in the race, there are just two other single-figure hopes in the Ladbrokes Stakes betting with the Liam Howley-trained Homesman ($4i) and UK raider Danceteria ($8) considered the dangers.
Runner-up in the Caulfield Cup last year after a Ladbrokes Stakes seventh, War Front gelding Homesman was last seen running second as the beaten favourite when unable to successfully defend his Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) title.
Third-up here and out to atone for the narrow loss, there is money to suggest Homesman will be bouncing back after going down to 100/1 outsider Black Heart Bart in the shock Underwood result.
Danceteria meanwhile is prepared in Britain by David Menuisier, the son of Redoute’s Choice making his Australian race debut over his pet distance (10:5-0-1) in the Ladbrokes Stakes.
Saturday is the horse’s first run since carrying 60kg to a Group 1 win over the 2000m in late July in Germany with Jamie Spencer to ride.
Galio Chop, who won the race in 2017, is the early market mover ($15 into $12) with the veteran nine-year-old coming off a third in the Underwood Stakes.
Black Heart Bart is at $17 in Ladbrokes Stakes betting to do the double after becoming the first dual Underwood Stakes winner on non-successive years since Lord (1958, 1960).
Click here for the latest Caulfield Stakes 2019 odds courtesy of race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
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