Australia’s First Lady Of The Turf Gai Waterhouse will have Ecuador at peak fitness when he lines up in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival on Saturday.
Ecuador is well suited over the 1600m of the Emirates Stakes and Waterhouse can see no reason why the $31 outsider can’t course an upset.
“The 1600m is a distance that suits and he is at his peak fitness leading into Saturday,” Waterhouse wrote in her column for racing.com.
“He’s a very good winning chance and his best is definitely good enough to bring home the bacon.
“This gelding has had 20 starts in his career for six wins and eight placings, has never run worse than sixth and tries his heart out whenever he steps on the track.”
Ecuador collected his biggest pay cheque two starts back when second to Winx in the Group 1 $1m The Star 150th Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 3 and then followed that up with a sxith, less than two lengths from the winner Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Flemington has been rated a heavy 8 on Friday and even though the High Chaparral gelding is untested on a heavy track, he has three wins and three seconds from nine starts on a soft track.
Hong Kong based jockey Brett Prebble will ride Ecuador replacing the suspended Tommy Berry and the top international rider will no doubt have the gelding close to the pace from barrier six.
The Emirates Stakes is developing into a wide open betting race with five horses under the double figures at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Godolphin’s import Bow Creek is at the top of the market at $4.80 following his first run for John O’Shea which produced a second behind Turn Me Loose in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Murray Baker’s much improved four year old Turn Me Loose is also going around in the Emirates Stakes and has eased slightly in the betting from $6 to $7.50.
German galloper Magic Artist is also high up in the market order for the Emirates Stakes on the second line of betting at $5.50 and is backing up this week after running fourth in the Mackinnon Stakes.
Melbourne Cup winning trained Darren Weir’s Group 1 winner Lucky Hussler is marked at $8 while Disposition from the Lee and Anthony Freedman stable is also well in contention at $9.
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Emirates Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Bow Creek, $5.50 Magic Artist, $7.50 Turn Me Loose, $8 Lucky Hussler, $9 Disposition, $11 Arod, Politeness, $17 He Or She, $21 Amovatio, May’s Dream, Rocky Sturdy, $31 Ecuador, Sons Of John, $41 Messene, $71 Moriarty, $81 Coronation Shallan.
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