The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Scratchings Update: The 2023 Futurity Stakes field is down to just six runners with the scratching of #4 Laws Of Indices (8) who instead contests Sydney’s Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes on the same day and #7 Mr Mozart (1).
I’m Thunderstruck with fitness edge is narrow favourite to hold off the resuming Alligator Blood when the two stars face off in Saturday’s 2023 Futurity Stakes at Sandown Racecourse.
Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day runs at Sandown this year with the ongoing Caulfield renovations and there are three elite level events on the card.
The second of those following on from the Blue Diamond is the Group 1 $750,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) which has drawn a diminutive but class field of only eight weight-for-age hopefuls.
Heading the Futurity Stakes field and betting markets at $3.20 and firming through Ladbrokes.com.au is the Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr) trained I’m Thunderstruck in gate three with the in-form Ms Jamie Kah retaining the ride.
Kah rode the Shocking five-year-old for his first-up fourth when only a half-length beaten fresh here in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 11.
I’m Thunderstruck, runner-up to Anamoe in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley last spring, is sure to appreciate a run at the Hillside course second-up fitter for his resuming run and ticking plenty of boxes for favourite backers.
The danger occupying the second line of betting at $4 is the resuming Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Alligator Blood drawn one wider in gate four with Blake Shinn to ride.
Co-trainer Waterhouse chases her third Futurity Stakes win since 2006 and her first in partnership with Bott following earlier success with Aqua D’Amore (2007) and More Joyous (2011).
Former Queenslander Alligator Blood races for the first time since his impressive half-length triumph to round out his big spring in the Group 1 VRC Champions Mile (1600m) last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
That was his fourth Group 1 success with the All Too Hard six-year-old looking to add to that tally first-up on the weekend at a distance he boasts plenty of success over (8:5-0-0).
In an open edition of the race there are a further two horses under double-figure Futurity Stakes odds with plenty of money coming for Mr Brightside ($6) and Nugget ($6).
The Ben & JD Hayes-trained Mr Brightside is second-up in gate five for jockey Craig Williams who is a three-time Futurity Stakes winning hoop.
The son of Bullbars chases his first win since the Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) at The Valley last September, but is proven at the Sandown track and is a Group 1 winner having won last year’s Doncaster Mile over I’m Thunderstruck with Williams aboard.
Fresh Mr Brightside ran fifth in a blanket CF Orr Stakes finish still under a length off the winner and is set to improve off that this weekend.
Nugget meanwhile chases his fourth win in five starts.
The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Siyoni six-year-old won the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) with 60kg at Sandown Hillside on Boxing Day before his third with 59kg in the CF Orr last time out behind protest winner Jacquinot and original first-past-the-post Gentleman Roy.
The remainder of the field are all under $20 for an upset with the early market mover, rails-drawn four-year-old Mr Mozart, scratched.
The 2023 Futurity Stakes is set to run as Sandown Race 8 at 5:00pm (AEDT) as the penultimate event on the card.
2023 Futurity Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||6x214225x4||I’M THUNDERSTRUCK (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Ms Jamie Kah||3||59kg||116|
|2||21x721551x||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Blake Shinn||4||59kg||116|
|3||1x115473x5||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||Ben & JD Hayes||Craig Williams||5||59kg||112|
|4||09x42833x6||LAWS OF INDICES (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Ben Melham||8||59kg||109|
|5||000x6142x6||AEGON (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Michael Dee||6||59kg||106|
|6||161x13x16x||MY OBERON (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Ethan Brown||7||59kg||109|
|7||8111x220x4||MR MOZART||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Damien Oliver||1||59kg||103|
|8||2x14x21113||NUGGET (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||2||59kg||105|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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