Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
The punters are rallying behind race favourite Scales Of Justice with nearly every other runner in Saturday’s CF Orr Stakes 2020 field at Caulfield drifting in betting.
A dozen weight-for-age hopefuls line-up in this year’s Group 1 $500,000 Neds CF Orr Stakes (1400m) field that kicks off elite level racing for the calendar year down under.
Of those, all the money is coming for the Lindsey Smith-trained seven-year-old Scales Of Justice to add a third Group 1 win to his record.
The veteran’s previous top-level victories came three years apart with success in the 2016 Railway Stakes in Perth and the 2019 Memsie Stakes in Melbourne.
The Memsie Stakes win saw Scales Of Justice defeat So Si Bon (2nd) and Alizee (3rd) over the same track and distance he returns to for the CF Orr Stakes this weekend.
The WA expat comes off the right lead-up too having secured an eye-catching win fresh at The Valley in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m), a race that has produced six CF Orr Stakes winners from 2011-19.
The Australia Stakes – CF Orr Stakes double meanwhile hasn’t been completed since Black Caviar (2012).
The next best in betting at $5.50 is the beaten favourite in the Australia Stakes, runner-up Hey Doc who is out to turn the tables.
The Tony & Calvin McEvoy-trained six-year-old never runs a bad race, but from five starts at Caulfield has only ever run two third placings.
Still, he has class as recently shown “with his Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) win last November at Ascot and presents as a danger from barrier five.
“That run in the Australia Stakes has improved him,” co-trainer Tony McEvoy told the media this week.
“It’s tightened him up a bit and I’m looking forward to seeing him back at 1400 metres and seeing what he can do for us.”
Easing out from $7.50 to $8.50 is then the only three-year-old in this year’s CF Orr Stakes, the Michael Moroney-trained Alabama Express being tested at weight-for-age.
Drawn wide in gate 10, the last start Flemington winner was impressive carrying a big weight to victory down the straight and is looking to be the first three-year-old CF Orr Stakes winner since All Too Hard (2013).
“I think he is up to the better three-year-olds, it’s just a matter of whether he’s going to be up to the better weight-for-age horses,” Moroney said this week.
Two other Group 1 winners in the mix – Begood Toya Mother ($9) and Fierce Impact ($9.50) – round out the single-figure hopes in the markets.
A three-time winner from four runs at Caulfield, Daniel Bowman’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Begood Toya Mother races second-up after getting caught-up in the fall of Manuel in the Australia Stakes when seventh last start.
“If he can’t be highly competitive on Saturday at weight-for-age then he’s just not a weight-for-age horse,” Bowman said ahead of the CF Orr.
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