The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Cindy Alderson’s in-form sprinter Jigsaw is dominant favourite to post his fourth win on the trot in this weekend’s 2023 Australia Stakes at The Valley.
The Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival lead-ups get underway on Saturday in the form of the weight-for-age Group 2 $350,000 Australia Stakes (1200m), which attracted a small field of eight runners this season.
Sitting top of the latest Australia Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is the airborne Jigsaw coming off a hat-trick of lead-up victories.
He pays $3.20 to make it a picket fence on the weekend in tougher grade after drawing a treat in barrier two for jockey Daniel Moor.
The Manhattan Rain four-year-old’s latest two wins were in Black-Type company, and he was last seen at Sandown on Boxing Day scoring in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1100m).
He needs to be good going up to 58.5kg at WFA on Saturday but the bookies are taking no chances.
Three other runners are also at single-figure Australia Stakes odds this season including the $4.50 second elect Snapper who has won two of his past three.
The Michael Moroney-trained Power gelding is a Moonee Valley specialist having enjoyed four wins and a second from his seven previous starts at the course.
He comes off a three-quarter length win at Flemington a fortnight ago in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) when carrying just 54kg.
This weekend he returns to his pet track but will carry 58.5kg as Jye McNeil continues associations.
Turaath in barrier seven with Damian Lane riding then follows closely in the markets at $5 to win first-up.
Maddie Raymond’s British-bred Oasis Dream mare kicks off her autumn campaign racing for the first time since her dead last (11th) in the Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Derby Day last October.
The also resuming Calypso Reign ($8), winner of Morphettville’s Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) in the wet last August, rounds out the hopes under $10 for the win.
Plenty of attention will also be on the No. 1 and No. 2 horses with two former WA guns, Superstorm and Western Empire, jumping alongside each other in barriers one and four respectively.
The stablemates, raced by prolific WA owner-breeder Bob Peters, are now prepared by John Leek Jnr and are $17 outsiders in the markets.
Group 1 champ Superstorm has won just shy of $3 million in stakes but runs for the first time since the spring of 2021.
Western Empire, winner of the 2021 Group 1 Railway Stakes in Perth, meanwhile kicked off in the Standish running seventh and is out to improve second-up and fitter for the run here.
2023 Australia Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||36x413316x||SUPERSTORM||John Leek (Jnr)||Jamie Mott||3||58.5kg||112|
|2||1x112x55x7||WESTERN EMPIRE (NZ)||John Leek (Jnr)||Mark Zahra||4||58.5kg||109|
|3||x170x34023||IRONCLAD (GB)||Will Clarken & Niki O’Shea||Ms Jamie Kah||1||58.5kg||103|
|4||x47x00x470||BEAU ROSSA||Will Clarken & Niki O’Shea||Ms Jamie Kah||8||58.5kg||100|
|5||511867×111||JIGSAW||Cindy Alderson||Daniel Moor||2||58.5kg||100|
|6||1180×89171||SNAPPER (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Jye McNeil||5||58.5kg||96|
|7||0x1211144x||CALYPSO REIGN||David Jolly||Craig Williams||6||58.5kg||95|
|8||x5346x510x||TURAATH (GB)||Maddie Raymond||Damian Lane||7||56.5kg||101|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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