Barnstorming Bonneval the new 2017 Caulfield Cup favourite

Crownbet market movers

KIWI sensation Bonneval is the $5.50 outright favourite at Crownbet to win this year’s Caulfield Cup after a powerful performance in the Underwood Stakes on Sunday.

Going up against red-hot favourite Hartnell, the New Zealand export was coolly steered to the outside by champion jockey Hugh Bowman and the horse did the rest, displaying its customary dash to the line to extend its winning sequence to six straight.

Despite a second-consecutive second Hartnell remains in the market at the $10 quote.

The win was all about Bonneval however, which has now won five straight group races following the Underwood Stakes success.

Co-trainer to the mare Murray Baker believes there is still more under the Bonneval bonnet coming into the important spring fixtures.

“She’s got a bit of her coat to lose yet, but we thought she’d improve from last start,” Baker said, who trains alongside Andrew Forsman.

“She measures up; she was a very good filly. It’s her sixth Group win in a row. She knows where the finishing line is.

“She’s in the Caulfield Cup, and we’ll give her one more in the Caulfield Stakes.”

Logjam behind Winx in the Cox Plate market

This year’s Cox Plate may be about the wondermare Winx, but the market currently cannot separate the a trio of runners behind the hat-trick seeking horse.

Royal Symphony, which tasted defeat for just the first time on the weekend, Underwood Stakes runner-up Harntell and Makybe Diva Stakes winner Humidor are all ranked as $21 chances at Ladbrokes behind Winx to cause a major upset in the October 28 feature.

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The Caulfield Cup may be the current plan in mind for the red-hot Humidor, but a start in this weekend’s Turnbull Stakes could help trainer Darren Weir decide whether takes the horse into the Cox Plate alongside the champion mare.

Humidor – which is the only other horse in the Turnbull Stakes field under double-figures ($6) at Sportsbet behind Winx – was always headed towards this weekend’s race, and Weir was clear he is not going to bend over backwards to avoid the world’s best horse.

“We are not changing anything, Humidor is definitely going to the Turnbull and then on the Caulfield Cup,” he said.

“We obviously respect Winx but you can’t just change your plans for one horse.”

One horse that may elect to avoid Winx in the Cox Plate is Royal Symphony.

Despite the disappointment of the weekend’s first-ever loss, trainer Tony McEvoy is still optimistic that his champion in the making has a group one crown coming its way this preparation, but will most likely take the horse into the Group One Caulfield Guineas, where it is a $2.60 favourite at William Hill.

“As I said to the team, I think when we get over the disappointment of today’s defeat, we’ll still see a lot of merit in his performance.

“Don’t give up on him, he’s still very much a live chance in the (Caulfield Guineas).”

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Everest field set as She Will Reign tops the market

Victory in Friday night’s Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley has seen boom filly She Will Reign move into outright favourite at Sportsbet in the inagurial running of The Everest.

The Golden Slipper winner is the top elect in the market at $4.60, ahead of Chautauqua and Hayes and Daberning dynamo Vega Magic, which are locked on the second line of betting at the $6 mark.

Trainer Gary Portelli said his filly proved itself as an upper echelon runner.

“We were hopeful she was the real deal, and she’s proved it tonight,” Portelli said.

“That was an amazing run.

“I’m thinking [in the run] let’s just look after her, and make sure there’s something left in a couple of weeks time, and he [Kerrin McEvoy] gave her a click-up at the 600m, and she went to that gear we know she’s got.

“I underestimated her myself … She’s done the job.”

The trainer now believes the horse has a realistic shot at taking out the world’s richest race on turf, an event that seemed like a pipe-dream for the filly earlier in the year, but he now has plenty of confidence following the heart-stopping win.

“I didn’t think she’d won, but she knows how to win, another Group 1, and this [The Everest] is going to be a lovely race in a fortnight’s time.”

The final slots for the first-ever running of the Everest were finally confirmed on Monday after Houtzen ($34), Lindsay Park runner Tulip ($41) and Feel Swoop ($51) filled out the 12 runner field.