Contributer, Lucia Valentina and Weary are all available at 2015 Apollo Stakes odds of $5.50 and are locked in a battle for favouritism in betting markets for the Group 2 event that will be held at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Weary has been steady towards the top of Apollo Stakes betting markets since the final field was released on Wednesday and there has been support for the imported galloper in the last 24 hours as a little bit of rain softened up the Royal Randwick track.
Trainer Chris Waller has six runners in the Apollo Stakes field and he believes that the Expressway Stakes winner is one of his best chances in the Group 2 event this afternoon.
“I was concerned about the draw, but certainly not now we have had some rain and I think that will even the barrier draws up,” Waller said.
“He likes a soft track and that brings him right back into contention.
“He and He’s Your Man would be my preferred two.”
Contributer opened at a quote of $6.50 in Apollo Stakes betting markets, but there has been plenty of support for the Godolphin import in the lead-up to the race and there is every chance that he could start the race as favourite.
The High Chaparral entire made his Australian racing debut with a win in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 18 and he was not disgraced when beaten as favourite in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 8.
Trainer John O’Shea has high hopes for Contributer this preparation and the five-year-old has been set for a tilt at either the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14 or the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens a week later.
Lucia Valentine remained steady at a quote of $6 throughout the week, but the daughter of Savabeel has been backed into $5.50 in the past 24 hours.
Trainer Kris Lees was worried that Lucia Valentina would find it difficult to bounce back from her tough run in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4 last year, but he is thrilled with the condition of two-time Group 1 winner.
The four-year-old started her 2014 Spring Carnival with a most impressive fast-finishing victory in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) and punters believe that she is capable of reproducing that effort this weekend.
There has been a sprinkling of support in Apollo Stakes betting markets for Ninth Legion ($10 into $8.50), while Boban ($10 out to $13), Hawkspur ($31 out to $34), Junoob ($41 out to $67), Disclaimer ($51 out to $67) and Queenstown ($34 out to $51) have all been on the drift.