Just six runners remain in the final field for this weekend’s Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick, offering punters exceptional value from a betting standpoint and several key opportunities to place a winning bet.
Having returned to racing in great form this year, classy Chris Waller runner Moriarty has been backed into favouritism in Hill Stakes betting markets, currently available at $3.50 odds ahead of Criterion ($3.60), La Amistad ($4.60) and Junoob ($5.50).
Will Moriarty justify his resounding support from punters and win the 2014 Hill Stakes, or will one of his classy rivals find the line in the clear?
Securing an impressive record of five wins and as many minor places from just 18 competitive starts so far, Criterion has returned to the track in career-best form this year and is a great chance of returning to the winner’s circle in the Hill Stakes. Finishing fourth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) first-up on February 15th, the Sebring entire finishing a close second to Shamus Award in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 1st, and while appearing to be out of sorts when eighth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th, responded in the best way possible when winning both the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) back-to-back. Disappointing when beating a single runner home in his last start, Criterion offers punters great value for success at current odds and is more than worth consideration for a bet.
Claiming fifth in both the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) and Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) this time in, Moriarty will leave from barrier 6 in the 2014 Hill Stakes and will be partnered by jockey Jason Collett. Securing 11 wins and 12 minor places from 46 competitive starts, the Clodovil gelding is without doubt the Hill Stakes’ most experienced acceptor this year. A strong and consistent performer for Waller over the 2014 Winter Carnival, Moriarty finished fifth in both the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) before charging home to win the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) with ease on May 31st. Punters may find value in adding Moriarty as a selection in a Hill Stakes Quinella or Trifecta bet.
La Amistad ($4.60)
Touted as a serious Cups contender this time in following a strong autumn preparation, La Amistad was unable to figure when seventh in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) last time out, but should have enough class to compete effectively in the Hill Stakes. Claiming five wins and three minors from 13 competitive starts, the Redoute’s Choice mare overcame two less-than memorable starts in autumn with three consecutive wins, highlighted by the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m) on May 24th. Allocated the ideal barrier 1, La Amistad is more than worth consideration for a Hill Stakes bet.
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