DESPITE a wide barrier draw, Malaguerra is poised to jump as the favourite in Saturday’s Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield.
The five-year-old sprinter has won on two of his last three starts, including a first-up salute for 2017 in the Group 2 Browns Australia Stakes last month.
That field included the two-time Group 1 winner’s main rival for the Orr – the Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart.
The pair opened as joint $4 favourites at Sportsbet.com.au, but Malaguerra has moved into $3.80 while the other has held firm.
Lucky Hussler ($7.50) and Divine Prophet ($9.50) are the only other horses paying under $10 for the win in a market dominated by the two frontrunners.
“The two favourites will jump from the outside barrier in the Orr, but they remain the only horses punters want,” said Sportsbet’s Will Byrne.
“Malaguerra has edged ahead in popularity, but there’s no guarantee he will stay on top as Black Heart Bart also has a lot of admirers.”
Preceding the Orr Stakes at Caulfield this weekend is the 1100m Rubiton Stakes, where Chautauqua is well backed to start 2017 with a bang.
The six-year-old grey has not raced since last October, when he finished seventh in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley.
But the bookies have pulled the five-time Group 1 winner into $2.50 to claim a second Rubiton title, with Hellbent and Wild Rain next best on $5 each.
Meanwhile, Winx has shortened to a mere $1.12 in the fixed win market for the Apollo Stakes at Randwick.
Now that Global Glamour is scratched, Hartnell – who finished eight lengths behind his arch-rival to run second in last year’s Cox Plate – is the closest challenger at $10.
Crown Oaks winner Lasqueti Spirit trails the market at $151.
1400m C.F. Orr Stakes betting
+280 – Malaguerra
+300 – Black Heart Bart
+650 – Lucky Hussler
+850 – Divine Prophet
+1000 – Ecuador
+1300 – He’s Our Rokkii
+1600 – Jameka
+1800 – Arod, Miss Rose De Lago, Palentino
+2000 – Turn Me Loose
+3000 – Awesome Rock
1100m Rubiton Stakes betting
+150 – Chautauqua
+400 – Hellbent, Wild Rain
+650 – El Divino
+1000 – I Am A Star
+1300 – Fast ‘n’ Rocking
+1500 – Super Cash
+2500 – Miss Promiscuity
1400m Apollo Stakes betting
-833.33 – Winx
+900 – Hartnell
+1700 – Dibayani
+3000 – Endless Drama
+3300 – Shiraz
+5000 – Leebaz
+8000 – Libran
+15000 – Ambience, Lasqueti Spirit, Magic Hurricane, Sacred Master
All markets provided by Sportsbet.com.au
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