South Australian sprinters will be hoping to defy the market in Saturday’s $300,000 Group 2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield.
Multiple Group 1 winner Hey Doc, Octane and Bold Star are all out of favour with bookmakers in the 1100m feature where the Matt Laurie-trained Alfa Oro holds favouritism.
Despite his outstanding record and three wins at the highest level Hey Doc is marked a $9.50 chance with tab.com.au, while Phillip Stokes’ Octane finds himself double figure odds at $10 and Bold Star appears the forgotten horse at $16.
Co-trainer Calvin McEvoy said Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes winner has progressed well from his first-up run in the Group 1 Moir Stakes when he was beaten four lengths behind Pippie after a tough, wide run.
“He’s extremely well, he’s trained (on) really good,” McEvoy said.
“He ran a bit further than the 1000m he was so wide on the track.”
McEvoy is unconcerned by the fact Hey Doc is chasing his first win around Caulfield from six previous attempts, having finished third there in both the Caulfield Guineas back in 2016 and the Group 3 Manfred Stakes over 1200m in 2017.
"Caulfield is a track he hasn't won at, but he did run third in the Guineas there and it's a long time since he's raced in sprint races there,” McEvoy noted.
"He's obviously the class horse in the race but coming up against some nice up-and-coming horses in good form.
"If they do get the rain that's forecast, a heavy track would be a bit of an unknown.
“I respect the opposition but couldn't have him any better prepared.”
Bold Star beat home Hey Doc in the Moir Stakes in a run full or merit after coming deep on the corner and trainer Gordon Richards said getting to 1100m and back to Caulfield was a bonus.
Lightly-raced five-year-old Octane brings some X-factor into the race following a luckless run at the track last time behind From Within.
Octane was forced to make ground between horses and was only beaten 1.6 lengths. He will reunite with Jamie Kah, who partnered him to a brilliant Flemington win back in August.