15 talented thoroughbreds have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s featured Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm, offering punters exceptional value from a betting standpoint and several key opportunities to place a winning wager.
Having returned to racing with a comfortable win in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago, Contributer ($2.70) has firmed as favourite in 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes betting markets ahead of Lucia Valentina ($5) and Ninth Legion ($9) with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
Will Contributer break-through for a maiden Group 1 victory, or will one of his classy rivals find the line in the clear?
Lucia Valentina ($5)
Lucia Valentina was a standout performer over the 2014 Australian racing calendar, and has returned to racing in slick form this year; having charged home from the rear of the field to finish fourth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) first-up on February 14th, and is sure to have taken priceless condition from the run. Beginning her career under the guidance of Stephen Marsh in her native New Zealand before transferring to the care of Kris Lees early in 2014, Lucia Valentina won the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) most notably in autumn and returned to the paddock following a credible performance for third in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m). Taking out each of the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before finishing third in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) most notably in spring, the Savabeel mare will carry a race-low 57kgs in the 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes and will be partnered by Hugh Bowman.
Contributer is one of many leading contenders for success over the 2015 Autumn Carnival for Godolphin Australia, but may react more favourably to events over 1800m, despite winning the Apollo Stakes first-up. Beginning his career abroad under the guidance of Ed Dunlop, Contributer immediately stamped his claims as one to watch when debuting in Australia for success in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) on October 18th. Unable to make much of an impact when eighth in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) in his only other start under the guidance of John O’Shea, the High Chaparral entire will leave from the ideal barrier 4 and will be partnered by in-form jockey James McDonald.
Yet to contest an event competitively in Australia, Hartnell has been a standout performer for Godolphin in Europe since first debuting in mid-2013 and is more than worth consideration for a Chipping Norton Stakes bet at current $14 odds. Placing second to notable stayer Snow Sky in the Listed Derby Trial Stakes (2310m) early in his 2014 campaign, the Authorized gelding claimed back-to-back victories in the Listed Queen’s Vase (3219m) and Group 3 Bahrain Trophy (2615m) before placing a credible seventh in the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger (2937m) on September 13th. Having reportedly relished his time in Australia so far, Hartnell will likely settle at the rear of the field from barrier 14 before a late charge.
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