Team Hawkes-trained Messene has opened at 2014 Warwick Stakes odds of $4.60 and he is the early favourite in betting for the Group 2 event that will be held at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Messene started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a narrow second place finish behind Sweet Idea in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) and he will have a fitness edge over the majority of his rivals, but there are question marks over his ability to handle the expected wet Royal Randwick track after he struggled on the heavy surface in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 12.
Weary will also have a fitness edge over his rivals in the Warwick Stakes and he is currently on the second line of the betting at a quote of $5.5o with Ladbrokes.
The Astronomer Royal gelding has previously performed well on rain affected surfaces and trainer Chris Waller, who has five runners in the Warwick Stakes, believes that the imported galloper is very well placed in the Warwick Stakes.
“He ran third in a Doncaster and second in an All Aged Stakes coming back to the 1400 metre distance and they were both on wet tracks,” Waller said.
“He is one that goes to the races on Saturday second-up thanks to that first-up fitness run and he should be really hard to beat and he will appreciate the conditions on Saturday.”
Royal Descent and Sacred Falls both have an excellent record on wet tracks, finishing first and second on a heavy nine in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and both horses opened at a quote of $6.50 in Warwick Stakes betting; with Royal Descent receiving a sprinkling of early support.
Tiger Tees ($8) is another proven wet tracker that was included in the 2014 Warwick Stakes field that was released this morning, while Criterion ($9) will be returning to the races for the first time since he won the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on a very heavy track.
Criterion will be making his weight-for-age debut in the Warwick Stakes, but trainer David Payne is delighted with the condition of the horse and told Sky Racing HQ that the son of Sebring is ready to run well in the Group 2 event this weekend.
“He is well, happy and really ready to go now,” Payne said.
“It is going to be nice to see how he measures up against the older horses.
“He has had a nice foundation for the Warwick Stakes, but there is improvement in him; you don’t want to bust them first-up.
“He is ready to be competitive.”
Dissident has been an early drifter in Warwick Stakes betting markets ($11 out to $13), while there has been little early support for Hawkspur ($15), Laser Hawk ($81) and My Kingdom Of Fife ($101).
Triple Group 1 winner Boban is available at Warwick Stakes odds of $10, but he is unlikely to contest the race because of the heavy track.