Big race jockey Craig Williams is keen to have English galloper Arod race on the speed in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) on the final day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington on Saturday.
Arod has drawn one from the outside at barrier fifteen but that won’t deter Williams from pushing forward to take up a spot in or near the lead.
Kiwi galloper Turn Me Loose is a winner at is last two starts and has set the pace in both outings, including his last all the way win in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and Williams expects he will race in the same manner again.
Turn Me Loose had drawn inside of Arod at eleven and Williams will be able to follow the Murray Baker trained four year old across to the fence in the early stages.
“Two of the main chances are going to be Turn Me Loose and my horse and thank good we haven’t got The Cleaner in there as well,” Williams told the Sportsman.
“It is going to be a highly competitive race.”
Noted front runner The Cleaner set the pace in the Emirates Stakes last year but the Tasmanian trained gelding is not there this year after being sent for spell following his unplaced effort in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Arod also went around in the Cox Plate with Williams aboard and after racing in the first division, faded in the straight to finish eleventh behind the Chris Waller trained Winx.
But Williams is expecting Arod to be more race fit in the Emirates Stakes and is expecting a much better result after the Peter Chapple-Hyam trained five year old put in a couple of strong gallops since his Cox Plate outing.
“I’m much happier going into Saturday’s race compared to the Cox Plate,” Williams said.
“He’s more tuned up now and he’ll turn out a much fitter and ready racehorse.”
Arod has been friendless in the early stages of betting since the final field for the Emirates Stakes was released on Wednesday and has drifted from $10 to be marked at $13 with Ladbrokes.com.au on Friday afternoon.
Godolphin’s English import Bow Creek heads the market at $5 ahead of German galloper Magic Artist at $6.50, Turn Me Loose at $8 and Disposition, Lucky Hussler and Politeness who are all listed at $8.50.
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Emirates Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Bow Creek, $6.50 Magic Artist, $8 Turn Me Loose, $8.50 Lucky Hussler, Disposition, Politeness, $13 Arod, $19 He Or She, May’s Dream, Rocky Sturdy, $21 Amovatio, Ecuador, $31 Sons Of John, $61 Messene, $81 Moriarty, Coronation Shallan.
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