Huge plunge on Nature Strip
DOOMBEN 10,000 favourite Nature Strip was the subject of a massive betting move soon after acceptances for the $800,000 feature were taken on Wednesday, forcing him into an odds-on quote by day's end.
Ladbrokes were offering $3.30 about Nature Strip on Tuesday night and then $2.80 after final acceptors, but moves at other agencies soon trimmed the quote up appreciably.
Tab.com.au reported the bulk of the money, taking a straight out bet of $200,000 on Nature Strip.
The confident move came despite the Galaxy winner drawing barrier 11 in the 13-horse field on Wednesday.
Nature Strip has only been tested twice at 1200m, finishing unplaced in the Group 2 Euclase at Morphettville in May last year before winning in lesser company at Flemington two starts later.
He was taking short steps at the end of the 1100m Galaxy in March, but trainer Chris Waller has done a lot of work getting him to settle since then and the market has given his skills to achieve that a rousing vote of confidence.
Interestingly, the Nature Strip move hasn't been universal, with Ladbrokes punters getting behind the autumn bridesmaid Osborne Bulls in early trading.
"We've definitely missed the onslaught early. We're actually holding triple the amount of money for Osborne Bulls as we are for Nature Strip," Ladbrokes' Tom Hackett said.
Trainer James Cummings says Osborne Bulls has shown recently "there's still enough juice left in the orange to be tackling another Group 1".
Cummings said Saturday's 10,000 looks "the most winnable" of the five Group 1 races he will have contested this autumn.
"What hurts is that he's beaten all the horses who have beaten him in other races," Cummings said of the frustrating autumn of near misses.
"In four prestigious Group 1s this campaign, he's attacked the line but he's just come up one placing short."
In an interesting move Osborne Bulls has been listed to race with blinkers for the first time on Saturday.
■ GREYHOUND racing's Group 1 Brisbane Cup has received a massive prizemoney boost, going to $375,000 this year, including $250,000 to the winner.
The $225,000 stakes increase will make it one of Australia's richest greyhound races.
The announcement coincided with Racing Queensland announcing the race will be shifted from its traditional summer timeslot to a blockbuster final on Super Night, Thursday July 4.
The evening will include a feature race over each of the five distances run at Albion Park, from 331m to 710m.
Heats for the Brisbane Cup will be run on June 27 for the top 64 nominated greyhounds.
To accommodate the change, the Group 1 Winter Cup will be renamed and moved to the summer carnival.