Last year’s seven-length champion Zaaki returns...
Anthony & Sam Freedman’s boom colt Hanseatic is the short-priced favourite in McEwen Stakes 2020 betting at Moonee Valley this weekend with the Blue Diamond runner-up kicking off his spring campaign on Feehan Stakes Day.
The key support act on The Valley race card for Saturday, this year’s Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) field features nine runners including two three-year-olds getting in on just 52kg in the weight-for-age sprint feature.
Debuting as a three-year-old from the outside alley (9) with Melbourne Cup winning hoop Craig Williams aboard, Hanseatic races for the first time since his disappointing 10th in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) back in March.
Prior to that he was on fire winning his opening three career starts before the eye-catching second when narrowly beaten by Tagaloa in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Fresh on the lightweight in the McEwen he presents as a huge hope for the punters relishing a return to Melbourne racing over the short distance.
In the past 20 years, just two three-year-olds have been successful in the McEwen Stakes with the 2013 win by the Peter Snowden-trained Kuroshio and the 2001 victory by the Peter Moody-trained Strategic Image.
The other three-year-old in the mix this year is Rulership for Peter & Paul Snowden.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden chases his third McEwen Stakes success following the aforementioned win by Kuroshio (2001) and his 2017 victory with top sprinter Russian Revolution in partnership with his son Paul.
Rulership is third-up in gate three with Dean Yendall to ride, the I Am Invincible colt presenting rock-hard-fit after back-to-back thirds in August.
The first was in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) before another minor placing at Caulfield over the same distance last Saturday.
He is up in grade this weekend but down in both weight and distance and currently pays $9 as the early McEwen Stakes market mover.
In an open race a further four sprinters are also under $10 for the win including the $4 second elect Brooklyn Hustle drawn ideally in barrier two at her pet track.
A specialist at Moonee Valley, the Jason Warren & Dean Krongold-trained Starspangledbanner mare is two-from-two at the notoriously tight circuit following her first-up win on August 1.
A consistent filly last season finishing thereabouts in some big races including her fifth to Exceedance in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m), she had her first run as a four-year-old at Moonee Valley and couldn’t have been more impressive.
Carting a hefty 58kg to a big 3.5 length win in the Benchmark 78 showdown, Brooklyn Hustle is back up in grade second-up and looks well-weighted with 56.5kg.
Returning Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes winner Bella Vella ($5), dual runner-up at the track / distance Bons Away ($8) and the in-form Kris Lees-trained Exceed And Excel mare Witherspoon ($9) present as the dangers.
2020 McEwen Stakes Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||0x4509x60x||DESPATCH||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||6||58.5kg||105|
|2||4132494146||ASHLOR||Dan McCarthy||Daniel Stackhouse||4||58.5kg||96|
|3||x2255x497x||BONS AWAY||Wendy Kelly||Craig Newitt||7||58.5kg||101|
|4||219x60230x||FINE DANE||John Moloney||Patrick Moloney||1||58.5kg||87|
|5||10152x111x||BELLA VELLA||Will Clarken||Jamie Kah||8||56.5kg||105|
|6||2×16203113||WITHERSPOON||Kris Lees||Damien Oliver||5||56.5kg||88|
|7||1x55x535x1||BROOKLYN HUSTLE||Jason Warren & Dean Krongold||Dwayne Dunn||2||56.5kg||84|
|8||1x1120x||HANSEATIC||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Craig Williams||9||52kg||92|
|9||1284×33||RULERSHIP||Peter & Paul Snowden||Dean Yendall||3||52kg||75|
*Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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