Talented sprinter Chetwood has been well supported in the betting in the lead up to the Group 2 $200,000 Browns Sawdust And Savings Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley tonight.
Chetwood opened up at $4.40 when the final field for the Australia Stakes was released on Wednesday and the John O’Shea trained four year old is now listed as the second favourite at $3.40 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Darren Weir trained multiple Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart heads the market order at $2.80 while last Spring’s Darley Classic winner Malaguerra is still well in contention at $3.80.
O’Shea said the Australia Stakes is the ideal race for the Godolphin owned Chetwood to be tested against a high quality field of sprinters after the Exceed And Excel four year old went through his 2016 Spring campaign undefeated from four race starts.
After working his way through the restricted ranks with wins at Canterbury and Rosehill, Chetwood led all of the way to win the Group 3 $150,000 Australian Bloodstock Cameron Handicap (1350m) on the Beaumont track at Newcastle on September 16 and backed that up with a win in the Listed $120,000 Catalina Sounds Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 8.
“He’s been set for this and he’s shown us with what he’s done at home that he’s ready,” O’Shea said.
“All I wanted was to drew out a bit and he’s come up with barrier eight which should suit him nicely.
“He’s trialled very well and this looks an ideal race for him.”
Chetwood has barrier trialled twice in preparation for his return to the race track in the Australia Stakes with a second at Rosehill over 900m followed by a win over 1050m at Randwick January 7.
Jockey James Doyle will be having his first race day ride on Chetwood and will be able to let him roll to the front from barrier eight in the field that has been reduced to nine runners with the scratching of the Will Clarken trained Cavaloce.
Peacock will also carry the Godolphin royal blue colours in the Australia Stakes and even though the three year old is listed as one of the outsiders of the field at $21, O’Shea would be surprise if he caused an upset.
Peacock is resuming from a spell after winning the Listed $120,000 Polytrack Gothic Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 15 and O’Shea said that the Lonhro colt has similar form as Holler did before he won last year’s Australia Stakes first up.
“He has similar form lines to Holler, and they proved pretty good this time last year,” O’Shea said.
“He’s had a nice spell and made good improvement, which he needs to do because there’s a pretty strong group of three-year-old sprinters coming through.”
Peacock has drawn barrier two in the Australia Stakes with Craig Williams taking the ride.