The Group 3 2012 Premier’s Cup (2200m) is set to be a tight contest if the market is any indication, with the top three chances all falling between $4.00 and $5.00.
Chris Waller-trained Wazn is the slight $4.00 bookmaker.com.au favourite ahead of talented four-year-old Fruehling ($4.80) and last-start winner Shamardashing ($5.00).
A winner of five of 14 starts, Irish-bred Wazn has had a very promising build up to the Brisbane Cup leadup event, running fourth in a quality Rowley Mile field before finishing runner-up in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup on May 12.
Fellow Irish-bred horse Fruehling is highly-rated and boasts an early career record of two wins and four placings from six outings.
If it rains as predicted leading into the race that is likely to suit John Thompson-trained Shamardashing who has scored victory four times on heavy tracks including last start at the Gold Coast when beating Fruehling by a length.
Outside the top three betting remains tight with in-form Dance With Her ($7.00) just ahead of Ironstein ($7.50) and Absolutely ($8.00).
Trained by David Brideoake and David Feek in Mornington, Dance With Her is chasing a third consecutive victory after winning the Warrnambool Cup and Centaurea Stakes.
The Al Maher mare is particularly impressive in wet conditions having most recently won both the Warrnambool and Pakenham Cups on heavy (8) tracks.
Ironstein began the year with three poor efforts but looked close to his best last start when coming home strongly to finish runner-up in the Chairman’s Handicap.
Winner of the Chairman’s Handicap was veteran gelding Hume who finished quickly to take top honours paying a remarkable $51.00.
The Brian Smith-trained eight-year-old again offers value for the punters at $21.00 but will have to overcome a horror barrier draw after receiving the widest gate in the field (18).
Other horses set to line up include New Zealand gelding Larry’s Never Late ($12.00), Chairman’s Handicap third place-getter Warrior Within ($21.00) and 2011 Caloundra Cup winner Spechenka ($31.00).
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