Pre-post odds on favourite Cellsabeel has been scratched from today’s $2m Inglis Millennium – 2yos (1100m) at Warwick Farm leaving the John Sargent trained Encountabull as the new top pick in the betting.
Cellsabeel was the $1.50 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au but after her withdrawal Encountabull was elevated to the top of betting at $3.80 just ahead of the Chris Waller trained Osamu at $4.80.
The Inglis Millennium was originally programmed to be run at Warwick Farm last Saturday but when the meeting was called off after the track was declared unsafe for racing because of consistent rain in the previous week, co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace decided that the rescheduled race for the two year olds didn’t fit in with Cellsabeel’s Golden Slipper preparation.
Cellsabeel is currently the $5.50 favourite for the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21 and will have her next lead up run for the glamour two year old race in the Group 2 $250,000 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on February 22.
Encountabull will be having his first start since finishing second to Wild Ruler with James McDonald in the saddle in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick on December 14.
McDonald was also aboard the Bull Point colt for a win in a 1045m Randwick barrier trial on January 23 and recommended to Sargent to put the blinkers on Encountabull for the Inglis Millennium.
“James thought that when he got to the front in that trial, he was looking around so we have added blinkers for Saturday and he will run in them for the first time,” Sargent told Sky Racing’ s Racing HQ.
“He is a colt and colts can be a bit like that. They can sometimes just do what they want to do.”
“I put them on and we gave him a jump out on Friday at Randwick and he flew the gates. So he is in good form.”
Sargent is quietly confident that Encountabull will handle a wet track.
“I have a bit of a gut feeling that he will handle it (wet track). He has a long high action and he quite a light stepping colt, he is not a heavy colt. I know he will hit the line. He is a trier.”
Today’s Warwick Farm track has been rated a heavy 9 after receiving 316mm of rain in the last seven days, but nothing in the last 24 hours.