Theo Marks Stakes 2020 Field & Betting Update: Funstar Favourite to Return to Form

September 11, 2020

Theo Marks Stakes 2020 Field & Betting Update: Funstar Favourite to Return to Form

The Chris Waller-trained Group 1 winning mare Funstar is tipped to return to her best at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday as the second-up favourite for the 2020 Theo Marks Stakes.

Funstar Horse Form (Photo: Steve Hart) | Races.com.au

Chris Waller’s classy mare Funstar runs favourite second-up in the 2020 Theo Marks Stakes on Saturday in Sydney. Photo: Steve Hart.

Due to run as Race 7 on The Run To The Rose Day, the Group 2 $200,000 Iron Jack Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) features an 11-horse field led in betting by Adelaide four-year-old Funstar.

Best known for her Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) win last spring, she is after he first victory since taking out the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) in the wet at Rosehill back in mid-March when turning the tables on her Surround Stakes conqueror Probabeel.

Runner-up against the older mares as a filly in April’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), Funstar resumed at Randwick on August 22 in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m).

She finished worse than midfield when sixth, but was still under two lengths beaten doing her best work late with improvement to come over the extra distance on Saturday according to Waller.

“We lay our cards on the table and if there is a problem, we let you know but Funstar is working very well and has not given me any sign or indication she hasn’t come back,” the Hall of Famer told Racenet this week.

“Her first-up run looked ‘plain’ but I don’t think she is a 1200m horse and giving away a good start to decent sprinters made it hard. I thought through the line she was actually quite good

“I feel she can run very well on Saturday and although it is only another 100m, a top four finish would suggest she is spot on to peak for the Epsom Handicap over the mile.”

Undefeated second-up with a perfect three-from-three record, Funstar dominates the Theo Marks Stakes odds at $3.20 and firming through Ladbrokes.com.au.

As is the theme in the Sydney races this time of year, Waller has a powerhouse record in the Theo Marks Stakes having won four of the past seven editions including last year’s race when Perth star Arcadia Queen was in his care.

Funstar is out to hand Chris Waller his fifth Theo Marks Stakes success in eight years

The dangers joining her on single-figures in the markets are the in-form Kris Lees-trained Special Reward ($4.20) and Wild Planet ($5.50) drawn either side of the favourite in barriers six and four respectively.

Special Reward went out a back-to-back Group 3 winner in the autumn and caught the eye first-up in the Show County running only a half-length back third.

He comes back in weight for the Theo Marks on Saturday and is another proven second-up performer (5:3-0-0) with genuine winning claims.

Wild Planet represents Hawkes Racing and also comes via a first-up run in the Show County Quality when 2.2 lengths back eighth in the blanket finish, the form of which the bookies are tipping this weekend.

Outside the top three the other best in Theo Marks Stakes betting this season include the rails-drawn Niccanova ($10) and classy top-weight Tyzone ($12) who ran third and first respectively in Brisbane’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) during the winter.

Click here for the latest Theo Marks Stakes 2020 odds courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.

2020 Theo Marks Stakes Field

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 6436x7751x TYZONE Toby & Trent Edmonds Jim Byrne 3 58.5kg 109
2 1412×23226 NICCANOVA Craig Carmody Regan Bayliss 1 57.5kg 107
3 1x56x211x3 SPECIAL REWARD Kris Lees Nash Rawiller 6 57kg 106
4 04210x115x RANIER James Cummings Jason Collett 8 56kg 104
5 211x2142x6 FUNSTAR Chris Waller James McDonald 5 55kg 106
6 231x7410x8 WILD PLANET Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Tommy Berry 4 54kg 98
7 11012x043x CRACK ON CRACK ON (GB) Gary & John Moore Glen Boss 10 54kg 96
8 111×1 FENDER Brett Cavanough Jean Van Overmeire (a) 11 54kg 73
9 21850x686x DUCA VALENTINOIS (IRE) James Cummings Ms Rachel King 2 53.5kg 99
10 1515×08014 SIGNORE FOX Peter & Paul Snowden Jeff Penza 7 53kg 98
11 1x11123x RIODINI (NZ) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 9 53kg 96

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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