The Danny O’Brien stable is confident Stageman will not be its only winner at Flemington on Saturday.
The eight-year-old will carry good odds for punters into the $200,000 Aurie’s Star Handicap from barrier two over 1200m – he is a $7 winning chance with bet365.com.au.
This is after finishing second in both the AJ Scahill Stakes and Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in December and November last year.
Stablemate Somerset Maugham also has good winning odds of $11.50 for The Parade Lounge over 1620m following the feature sprint at Flemington.
“Stageman will be our No.1 shot first-up, but I think Somerset will run a good cheeky race,” O’Brien’s assistant Ben Gleeson told horsebetting.com.au.
“Somerset is a better horse around the 800m mark. We’ve freshened him up at Barwon Heads.
“He’s had a month between runs, so I think he’ll put in a really fresh effort.
“Apart from Stageman, he’s our other top chance for the day.”
Saracen Knight ($23.80 in The Rose Room over 2530m) and Exeter ($54.80 in the Jockeys Celebration Day Sprint over 1100m) could also offer good value for punters.
“Saracen Knight also went to Barwon Heads for a freshen-up,” Gleeson said.
“He’s in a very tough race, so hopefully he can bounce back to form and run well for a nice-finishing place.
“And Exeter has had a freshen-up. His main target is at Moonee Valley in two weeks, so he’s just there for a blow-out before we get him to Moonee Valley where we know he’s most effective.”
After what could be a big day for the O’Brien stable, Gleeson said he was looking forward to a bumper Monday where plenty of his horses will be trialing.
“We’ve got a good team of horses for spring,” he said.
“In my four or five years here it’s probably the most exciting team of horses I’ve seen here.
“We’ve got a big day on Monday with jumpouts. We’ll have about 25 trialing.
“Most of the horses will round off their preparations and be ready for races.”
Stageman’s Odds In The Aurie’s Star Handicap
Race 5 – #4 Stageman (6)
8yo Gelding | T: Danny O’Brien | J: Damien Olive (57.5kg)
$7.00 with Bet365
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