Damien Oliver rides Vadamos at Moonee Valley ahead of the Cox Plate last month.
Damien Oliver rides Vadamos at Moonee Valley ahead of the Cox Plate last month. JULIAN SMITH

Winx absence opens Emirates Stakes right up

RACING: The Spring Carnival is about to be in the books for another year, but not before a very exciting meeting, highlighted by two very open Group 1 events.

The Emirates Stakes (formerly known as the Mackinnon Stakes) has been moved from Victoria Derby Day and has drawn a very competitive field.

Winx's absence makes this an open affair and there is form coming out of the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Cantala Stakes.

But it is French raider Vadamos that really stands out in this field.

He was given a very poor ride by Mark Zahra in the Cox Plate, but he was still able to tough it out to finish a more than credible fourth and with a more appropriate ride from Damien Oliver he will be in the finish.

The United States is the one horse in this field that has been targeted specifically at the Emirates Stakes and his lead-up form has been stellar.

He returned to racing with a very comfortable win in the Crystal Mile on Cox Plate Day and he was clearly looking for more ground in the Cantala Stakes at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.

It is no surprise that he has been well supported in the 2016 Emirates Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes.

The Darley Classic is the other Group 1 event on the card and there are a host of winning chances.

Chautauqua failed to fire in both the Moir Stakes and Manikato Stakes, which has opened this race right up, and you can make a case for almost every runner in the field.

It is Manikato Stakes runner-up Fell Swoop that is currently a narrow favourite in the 2016 Darley Classic betting market with Ladbrokes, but Lankan Rupee, The Quarterback, Our Boy Malachi, Malaguerra and Spieth are all available at single-figure odds.

The 2016 Emirates Stakes and Darley Classic betting markets are now available with Ladbrokes.