A talented field of just 13 three-year-olds have been confirmed to line up at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend to contest the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m), offering punters exceptional value from a betting standpoint and several key opportunities to place a winning bet.
Having returning to racing in exceptional form this time in, classy Team Hawkes-trained runner Nostradamus has opened as and maintained status as outright favourite for success in the 2014 McNeil Stakes, currently available at odds of $3.60 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Debuting with an impressive turn of foot to win the Nursery Plate Open (1100m) on debut in January, Nostradamus continued to build in form and class via a strong fourth in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) and credible seventh in the featured Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 22nd.
More than staking his claims as one to watch over major three-year-old events through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival when completing an impressive performance to win the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) first-up on August 16th, Nostradamus offers punters great value for money at current odds, particularly having been allocated the ideal barrier 2.
Yet to finish outside the places over three competitive starts so far, Shea Eden-trained Novel Dancer is likely to receive the run of the race from the ideal barrier 4, and is currently offered as outright $7 second-favourite for the 2014 McNeil Stakes.
Charging home to win the Echuca Toyota Plate (1109m) by more than sixth lengths on debut in May, the Written Tycoon filly repeated the dose when overcoming a talented field to win the Melbourne Truck Centre Handicap (1200m) by four lengths just three weeks later.
Jumping from the gates only fairly in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) first-up on August 16th, Novel Dancer was unlucky to be blocked for a run in the final straight; however did enough to finish just off the pace of Sabatini in third.
Confirmed to be partnered by in-from jockey Vlad Duric, Novel Dancer is more than worth consideration for a wager at current odds, particularly at $2.60 to run a place.
One of four Mick Price-trained three-year-olds confirmed for the 2014 McNeil Stakes, Jabali has so-far received a sprinkling of bets for success this weekend, cutting in from opening odds of $8.70 to currently register as $8.50 third-favourite.
A notable performer in major events over the two-year-old autumn season, Jabali returned to the track after finishing second in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) on debut in October for second in both the Blue Diamond Prelude and Blue Diamond Stakes.
While disappointing in both the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), the Exceed And Excel colt finished mid-pack in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) first-up on August 16th, and has reportedly progressed well to the McNeil Stakes.
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