Preferment has been backed into 2016 Australian Cup odds of $5.50 and trainer Chris Waller is confident that the talented entire is an excellent chance to take out the Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow.
Preferment made his Flemington debut when he outstayed his rivals to take out the 2014 edition of the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and he continued his love affair with the venue when he stormed home late to win the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
The son of Zabeel returned to racing with a more than credible fourth behind stablemate Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on February 27 and Waller told Racing Ahead that the four-year-old is ready to return to his best when he steps back-up to 2000 metres for the Australian Cup this weekend.
“He loves Flemington and his first-up run was good behind Winx over a mile,” Waller said.
“He is a funny horse, he doesn’t show anything until he gets to the right distances, which is clearly 2000 metres.
“There is a lot in his favour.
“It is an awkward gate, but with Hugh Bowman aboard he will hopefully overcome that and get some cover.
“The worst case scenario is that he is three wide, but he is actually a horse that doesn’t mind that and he won the Derby three wide the entire trip.
“It is a Group 1 weight-for-age and I’m sure there will be some good tactics going on.
“We will just see how the race unfolds.”
While Preferment has been the best-backed runner in Australian Cup betting markets, Bow Creek remains favourite at a quote of $3.20 with Ladbrokes.
Bow Creek scored his maiden Australian race win when he showed an explosive turn-of-foot to take out the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) last start and punters are confident that the Godolphin import can join the likes of Fiorente (2014), Pompeii Ruler (2007), Lonhro (2004) and Northerly (2003) as recent horses to complete the Peter Young Stakes/Australian Cup double.
Our Ivanhowe returned to the races with a promising performance in the Peter Young Stakes and he is on the third line of betting at a quote of $6, while Suavito ($8) and Rising Romance ($8.50) are the only other horses available at single figure Australian Cup odds.
There has been a sprinkling of support for Happy Trails ($26 into $21), Awesome Rock ($26 into $19), and Fenway ($13 into $11), while Extra Zero ($34 out to $41) has been on the drift.