Trainer Leon Macdonald will saddle two runners in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) on Saturday, but believes that veteran Daytona Grey is likely to figure as his best chance of winning the feature at Morphettville Racecourse.
Daytona Grey has posted a number impressive results for Macdonald throughout his debut in late 2011; claiming twelve wins and eight minors for almost half a million dollars in prize money.
The Artie Schiller gelding could only manage fifth in the Schweppes Pepsi Handicap (1200m) at Gawler last time out on July 16th, but Macdonald is confident the horse will be far-better suited to the conditions of the 2016 Spring Stakes.
“It was a funny race in that there was no pace early and he went back, and they held their formation all the way home through the last four of five hundred metres,” Macdonald told Racing Ahead.
“He has a few little foot problems and he was a little bit sore in his offside front, but he got over that pretty quickly.
“I think he can run really well.”
Macdonald will also saddle Gamblin’ Guru in the Spring Stakes, but believes the race might be a little too short and sharp for the resuming sprinter first-up.
“He often pulls out a run fresh. I just think 1200m these days may just be a touch short for him, though I’m sure he’ll be running on,” he said.
“I think he’ll stay in Adelaide and go to a race like the Balaklava Cup. If he’s going really well there could be a country cup for him, but I think he’s a length below the better horses in the spring.”
Gamblin’ Guru has also been a notable performer for Macdonald and co-trainer Andrew Gluyas through thirty-four career starts; posting six wins and a further twelve minors since debuting in 2013.
Interstate raider Beirut remains a clear favourite in Spring Stakes betting markets, and is a horse that Macdonald has identified as tough to beat this weekend.
“I thought the Victorian horses look like they’re going well so I’m sure they’ll be hard to beat,” Macdonald said.
Daytona Grey has been backed into 2016 Spring Stakes odds of $4.80 at Ladbrokes Australia, while Gamblin’ Guru remains a $19 chance of success.