The eyes of racing fans which have been so firmly fixed on Melbourne during the spring carnival shift west this weekend, to Ballarat for the city’s Cup and then a fair bit further, to super Saturday at Ascot in Perth for two group one races in the Railway and Winterbottom Stakes.
THE BIG FIVE
$2000 ew @ $21 One Blink (Ballarat race 5; Clockwise Classic)
$2000 @ $4 Buffering (Winterbottom Stakes)
$1000 @ $4 Buffering (Winterbottom Stakes)
$1000 @ $5 Real Love (Railway Stakes)
$1000 ew @ $34 Mr Utopia (Railway Stakes)
$500 @ $61 Sonntag
Last year’s Queensland Derby winner, Sonntag has been the subject of a betting plunge from punters around the country with the five-year-old gelding shortening from $61 into $15 by midday Friday. While there were a host of smaller bets on Sonntag, one Ladbrokes punters parted with $500 at $61, to win a tick over $30,000.
Sysmo, for Tony McEvoy, has been the other main market mover having been backed from $12 in $9, while Ungrateful Ellen ($6 into $5.50) holds favouritism in what appears a wide open renewal of the Ballarat Cup.
Top weight Junoob has been a significant drifter moving from $16 out to $19 but fellow Chris Waller trained horse, Index Linked, who’ll carry just half a kilo less (59.5kg) has been specked at odds and subsequently shortened from $14 in to $11.
SONNTAG $500 @ $61
The three main players in the market have all been rock solid at their opening quotes post barrier draw with Grant Williams’ star mare Delicacy a narrow favourite at $4.20 ahead of top weight, Black Heart Bart and Real Love at $5.
The best backed runner with Ladbrokes has been Good Project for Chris Waller who has been $8.50 in $8, while the biggest firmer in the race has been Mr Utopia who opened at $26 and got out to $34 before smart money saw him shorten to his current quote of $21.
Special Delivery, making a massive jump in class, has been almost friendless in betting and is the biggest drifter out to $34 having opened $26.
MR UTOPIA $1000 each way @ $34
The grand old man of Australian sprint racing, Buffering, returns to Perth in an attempt to win another Winterbottom and like the ageless John Farnham on one of his many farewell tours, punters keep coming back for more.
The eight year old, multiple group one winner, has had three times as much money placed on him than the rest of the field combined and is a clear $4 favourite with Ladbrokes, having been as short as $3.80.
Fast ’N’ Rocking is clearly the next best backed runner in the race and second elect in the market at $5.50, with Damien Lane making a return to his home town of Perth to take the ride.
Given the lack of action on horses outside the two favourites, there has been no other significant moves in the race. They are, however, expected to come on race day.
BUFFERING $2000 @ $4