The 2014 Vain Stakes odds of Jabali have shortened after trainer Mick Price declared that the Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up was the best of his three chances in the Group 3 event at Caulfield this afternoon.
Nordic Empire opened as a clear favourite in the Vain Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia, but it has been Jabali who has been the best backed runner in the past 24 hours and he is now a narrow favourite at a quote of $3.40.
Jabali will be returning to the races for the first time since he finished 11th in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 and Price believes that the Exceed And Excel colt is the horse to beat in the Vain Stakes.
“Jabali is probably the best horse of the three and he will take a position from an inside gate,” Price told Sky Racing HQ this morning.
“He has been keen in his work and that is why we took the blinkers off and winkers on.
“He is probably the pick of them and he is going really well.
“When he ran second in the Prelude here, he speared off on the corner and Rubick won the race, so on that form he wins today.”
Nordic Empire will have a fitness edge over both Jabali and Cornrow heading into the Vain Stakes after he scored an impressive win first-up in the Mitchelton Wines Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley on August 2, but Price is unsure whether the Wilander colt is as good as Jabali.
“Nordic Empire just have to prove he is up to Jabali,” Price said.
“He is hard fit, he races well and he found the line well at Moonee Valley.
“I am not underestimating him and I expect him to run in the first three, but I think he needs to go up a cog.”
Rounding out the Price team in the Vain Stakes is Cornrow, who impressed jockey Chad Schofield with his trackwork ahead of his return to racing this weekend.
Cornrow gave the impression as a juvenile that he would be a better horse when given the opportunity to race over a longer trip and Price said that he just wants to see the Duporth colt hitting the line strongly in the Vain Stakes this afternoon.
“Cornrow has drawn out and he is the grosser of the three.
“He has only had one trial and he will be balanced up and work home.
“I’m not sure they will be making up much ground outside of six metres today, so he might have to go between them.
“Just look for him to be finishing off and I think that he will run similar to how he did in the Prelude.
“If he does that he is on target.”
Jabali ($3.40) is currently a narrow favourite in Vain Stakes betting from Nordic Empire ($3.50) and Boomwaa ($8), while Cornrow is available at a quote of $14.