Trainer Darren Weir’s in-form mare Quilista has received plenty of early support in the betting for the 2018 Group 1 $1m Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Quilista is the winner of her last three starts with her supporters sticking with her, resulting in her price firming in from $6.50 when the final field for the Robert Sangster Stakes was released on Tuesday to be the second pick at $6 behind the $4.40 favourite Viddora at Ladbrokes.com.au.
“The early money has again been with Darren Weir in the form of Quilista ($6) as well as Super Cash ($7.50),’’ Ladbrokes Tom Hackett told The Advertiser.
“It’s the strongest edition of the race that I can remember seeing – the quality of horses that are at double-figure odds is incredible.’’
The front running Quilista has drawn barrier two in the eighteen horse field and will be ridden again by Damian Lane who steered the mare to an all the way win last start in the Group 2 $300,000 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on day two of The Championships at Randwick on April 14.
The four year old mare had also set the pace at her two previous starts for wins in a 1200m Mares Plate at Flemington on March 17 and in the Group 3 $150,000 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Race Day.
The Lloyd Kennewell trained Viddora is a get back horse and fom barrier one, jockey Joe Bowditch will be hoping for plenty of luck as he weaves his way through the field over the concluding stages in search a repeat performance that saw the pair combined for a win in the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot during the 2017 Perth Summer Carnival.
Viddora then went to Queensland and produced a similar display to win the $1m Magic Millions Snippets (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January and then resumed from a let up for a first up second to Robert Sangster Stakes rival Dainty Tess in the Group 3 $120,000 Hughes Limousines R N Irwin Stakes (1100m) back at her home track at Morphettville on April 21.
Kennewell has an open mind about Viddora drawing the rails and admits that the mare will need more than her fair share of luck if she is to win her second Group 1 trophy.
“I’d rather draw one than 18,’’ Kennewell said.
“You don’t choose barriers, they choose you. I don’t really read to much into them.
“At the end of the day it’s a number; one, 18, six or 12, she’s still going to need her share of luck.’’
“She’s as good as she can be.”
The West Australian trained Dainty Tess ($11) has also drawn near the inside at gate five with top local jockey Jamie Kah retaining the ride after taking out the R N Irwin Stakes.