Winx scared away all but two rivals in the Ladbrokes Stakes 12 months ago, but she is not in the 2017 edition of the race and that makes this a far more interesting betting affair.
Bonneval and Hartnell ran the quinella in the Underwood Stakes and they are currently on top of our 2017 Ladbrokes Stakes betting market from Jon Snow and Gailo Chop.
The presence of a number of horses that will be making their Australian racing debuts makes this a slightly tricky race, but we have done the hard work for you and our complete 2017 Ladbrokes Stakes tips can be found below.
Hartnell started his 2017 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a dominant win in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes, but he has since been beaten as a clear favourite in both the Makybe Diva Stakes and the Underwood Stakes. He wasn’t disgraced in either of those runs, but there is no doubt that he isn’t going as well as he was this time 12 months ago. It would not surprise to see him ridden more aggressively than he was in the Underwood Stakes and his best chance is probably to settle right on the speed or even take up the running. He is the main danger to Bonneval, but it is tough to get him as short as his current price.
Gailo Chop has improved each time that he has been seen at the races and he finished a tough third in the Underwood Stakes. He has recorded five wins from eight starts over 2000 metres and if he is able to improve again he will go to a level that will put him right in this race. Mark Zahra will settle him right on the speed and there is genuine value at his current price of $10.
Johannes Vermeer looked like a star in the making when he won the Champions Juvenile Stakes and Criterium International as a two-year-old, but he never really went on with the job. He was outclassed behind Highland Reel in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes before he won the International Stakes at Curragh and finished second in the Ballyroan Stakes. He would likely need to improve on that level to win the Ladbrokes Stakes and I’m not sure he has that in him at this stage of his campaign, but you never know with Aidan O’Brien.
Riven Light is a progressive horse from Ireland that has recorded three wins from his past four starts. He does have a great deal of upside and Willie Mullins has an great record in Australia, but this is a big step-up in class.
Calderon has joined the stable of Tony McEvoy after starting his career under the care of Richard Hannon in England. He stamped himself as a horse with plenty of potential when he won the Earl Of Sefton Stakes first-up at Newmarket before he was a touch disappointing in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes and the Midsummer Stakes. He is a tough horse to get a read on, but he is probably the best chance of the international runners.
Jon Snow is on a path to the Caulfield Cup and he returned to winning form with a tough effort in the JRA Cup. There is no doubt that the Ladbrokes Stakes is a tougher race, but he is heading in the right direction and he does have the benefit of a run over 2000 metres under his belt. He is not without a chance and I suspect he may be the horse to produce an excellent Caulfield Cup trial.
Inference was fairly plain in the Underwood Stakes, although it was still an improvement on his run in the Makybe Diva Stakes. He would need to improve on his best form to have any chance in the Ladbrokes Stakes and he hasn’t been at that level to date this campaign.
Single Gaze has flown under the radar this preparation, but she has improved each time that she has been seen at the races and she was very solid in the Underwood Stakes. She is probably just below the level that is required to win a race of this quality, but she will go into the Caulfield Cup next weekend as a live lightweight chance.
Abbey Marie was only narrowly denied by Bonneval in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes before she was never really able to get into the race in the Naturalism Stakes. It is tough to back her off that effort and she is another that has the Caulfield Cup as her major target.
The Taj Mahal
The Macedon Lodge team of Lloyd Williams has purchased a share in The Taj Mahal, which would suggest that the Melbourne Cup is his main target. He finished a credible second in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington – a race that was won by Adelaide before he came to Australia to win the Cox Plate – and he was not disgraced in the Irish Champion Stakes. The combination of Damien Oliver and Aidan O’Brien is an exciting one and he is not without a chance at a nice price.
Bonneval is the horse to beat in the 2017 Ladbrokes Stakes. She is yet to suffer a defeat in Australia and she has been nothing short of outstanding during her 2017 Spring Racing Carnival campaign. Bonneval was clearly underdone in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes, but she still had the class to win and she proved too good for Hartnell in the Underwood Stakes. She should be even better over 2000 metres with that run under her belt and she will go into the Caulfield Cup as a very clear favourite.