COOLDINI is vying for outright favouritism for next Monday’s Adelaide Cup.
Punters have rallied for the Robert Smerdon-trained stayer after his frontrunning return to winning form in the listed $120,000 Roy Higgins Quality, 2600m, at Flemington on Saturday.
He shares favouritism with the Tony McEvoy-trained Big Memory at $3.50 with Sportingbet and $3.20 with Sportsbet.com.au, and is second favourite at $3.40 behind Big Memory $3.20 with TAB.com.au.
Smerdon was looking at a jumps career with the four-year-old, but those plans have been put on hold for a tilt at the group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Cup, 3200m, in which he is on the minimum of $53.5kg.
The Caulfield/Ballarat-based Smerdon will also consider running him in the Sydney Cup.
Smerdon had planned to set Cooldini on a jumping campaign this winter, but he may revise that plan if he runs well in the Adelaide Cup.
“We might give some thought to the Sydney Cup if he comes through Adelaide all right,” he said.
Jockey Glen Boss put Cooldini into a prominent position from the jump and called on the gelding’s staying ability 600m out, asking him to put some pressure on his opposition.
After making ground under the whip, Cooldini held off the Darren Weir-trained Prince Of Penzance, which made a dash at the lead at the 200m.
As well as having a race named in his honour at Flemington, the legendary Roy Higgins also shared the spotlight in the winners’ circle.
The Ballarat-based Roy Higgins and Wylie Dalziel Racing continued their run of success with two-year-olds when Bring Me The Maid scored on debut.
Bring Me The Maid ($10) took out the listed $100,000 Sports 1000 for Caulfield trainer Peter Moody.
Dalziel said the significance of the day made the victory even sweeter.
“This is a really special win for us because Roy’s a bit crook at the moment,” Dalziel said.
“So it’s really good to have this victory cheering him up.”
MEANWHILE, Irish-bred stayer Akzar remains unbeaten since joining the Darren Weir stable.
The seven-year-old, which is based at Weir’s Warrnambool beach-front stable, powered home to get the money in the $100,000 VRC 150th Celebration Race, 2000m, at Flemington on Saturday to follow wins at Moonee Valley and Flemington.