The spring carnival is behind us, Christmas is in front of us but, before then, we have one final group one of the calendar year and we again look to the west for this weekend’s best race.
Things have certainly settled down in other states in terms of top flight races, but we’ve still found a couple to keep us interested if you’d rather follow the money than do the form.
KINGSTON TOWN CLASSIC (GROUP ONE)
After finishing fourth in both his Australian runs, the Emirates and McKinnon Stakes, Magic Artist is the favourite to not only climb in to the group one placings but win the race. Trained by Andreas Wohler, who prepared Protectionist to win last year’s Melbourne Cup, the German has been a solid favourite for some time and is expected to remain that way by race start tomorrow.
One punter is particularly keen to see Magic Artist pull a rabbit from the hat, plonking $5000 on him just moments after the barrier draw. Carrying the equal top weight of 59kg (along with six other runners), Magic Artist, like the others is giving away a massive 9kg to bottom weight and the best backed runner in the race, Perfect Reflection. Undefeated in the first four runs of her career, a swag of punters believe the 3-year-old filly can make the step up to a group one and make it five out of five. She’s been $7 into $4.40 including one bet of $5000 at $5.50 just prior to the announcement of the final field.
And there’s been love for others too. In fact, Real Love has been backed from $8 in to $6 with Chris Parnham taking the ride for Adam Durrant.
Multiple group one winner, Delicacy, has been easy in the market shifting from $5.50 to $6, while Man Booker has also drifted, $15 out to $18.
PERFECT REFLECTION – $5000 @ $5.50
MAGIC ARTIST – $5000 @ $3.80
CITY OF GREATER DANDENONG STAKES (LISTED)
Okay, so the race name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue and the quality isn’t exactly what we were watching only a few weeks ago in Melbourne, but there has been plenty of betting interest in the City of Greater Dandenong Stakes (race 7) at Sandown tomorrow.
While there has been no outrageously big bets, there has been plenty of smart money around, especially on Wild Rain, who has been $4.80 in to $4.20 in an open betting race.
If you are after something a bit juicier then Java has been among the best backed runners, with the Lee and Anthony Freedman trained gelding in from $13 to $11.
Someone believes Reldas can continue his good form at Sandown plonking $1000 at $6 for him to make it three wins from four runs at the track and three from four over the 1000m too.
The two major drifters in the market have been Diamond Oasis, who has been $8 out to $9, and Vatican who has drifted from $21 to $26.
RELDAS – $1000 @ $6
CITY OF MARION STAKES (LISTED)
Another local council getting in on the listed racing action, this time in the city of churches.
The City of Marion Stakes has attracted a surprising amount of interest and in two runners in particular, both at very tasty odds if you love some value.
Bottom weight, Silent Whisper, opened at $18 but such was the money coming for her after a solid effort last showing, she was wound into $14 and is currently $13. It has been some time since she won a race but there’s obviously punters who think her first up form was good enough to jump on here second up at odds.
Darren Gauci heads over to Adelaide this weekend to take the ride on Double Pockets and after some of our smarter punters jumped on here at $18, they are obviously confident of filling theirs.
Like Silent Whisper, the five-year-old gelding firmed into $13 but is currently a $14 shot in a reasonably open betting race which has Lord Aspen the favourite at $3.30.
LORD ASPEN – $2000 @ $3.30
*Prices correct as of midday EDST