Beaten last start favourite First Seal heads the early market order for the Group 1 $1m Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
First Seal followers are hoping to get their money back on the second day of ‘The Championships’ after the John Thompson trained filly went under as the odds on favourite when second to Fenway in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28.
The Fastnet Rock three year old has been beaten three of her four starts this campaign, all at short odds, but did salute as the $1.50 favourite beating Supara in the Group 2 $175,000 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 three starts back.
Following the release of the Queen Of The Turf Stakes final field this morning, Ladbrokes.com.au installed First Seal as the $3.50 favourite but she is already under threat of losing the top spot from Victorian mare Noble Protector who is marked at $3.60.
The Robert Smerdon trained Noble Protector is racing in the best form of her career with wins from her last two starts with race day jockey Craig Williams in the saddle on both occasions.
The five year old mare won at her first run back beating Marianne by four and half lengths in the Group 3 $150,000 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on March 14 followed by another clear cut win in the Group 2 $200,000 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 27.
“She’s in good shape,” Smerdon said.
“I’m sure she’ll be very competitive.”
The crowd’s favourite grey Catkins is also high up in the betting at $4.60 and is also racing in the best form of her career with three wins and a second from four starts this campaign.
The Chris Waller trained Catkins will be trying to break her Group 1 duck again after being placed four times from six attempts at the elite level including a half length second to Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick two starts back.
But the Dubawi mare bounced back last start with a one and three quarter lengths victory over Amanpour in the Group 2 $175,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 28.
Her other two Autumn Carnival starts resulted in a win in the Group 2 $175,000 NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill on February 7 and a win in the Group 2 $175,000 Blackwoods Sidchrome Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on February 21.
Queen Of The Turf Stakes market order: $3.50 First Seal, $3.60 Noble Protector, $4.60 Catkins, $17 Diamond Drille, $19 Telepathic, $21 Amicus, Gypsy Diamond, Cosmic Endeavour, $26 Intimate Moment, $31 Diademe, Sports Illustrated, Amanpour, $41 Bonaria, $67 Hera, $201 Just A Blur.