CASINO Prince pairing Hooked and Escado are are at opposite ends of the betting spectrum in tomorrow’s $1m Group 1 VRC Emirates Stakes (1600m) on the final day of the Flemington Cup carnival.
Hooked is a $6.50 with most bookers on the score of his win in the Group 2 MVRC Crytsal Mile last start immediately following his third in the Epsom Hcp Gr.1.
Escado meanwhile seems over the odds at $61 given that he has been within 2-lens off the finish at all three starts this campaign in the Sofitel, Tavern Stakes and the Toorak.
Both horses have drawn desirable alleys this weekend with Escado in gate 7 while Hooked with jump out of box 4 for jockey Craig Williams.
“Hooked is definitely going better this prep than last, just the one bad run in a wet track,” trainer John Thompson told Sportsman.
“I think his perfect distance is 2000m but he is going very well this prep kept fresh at a mile and I did that because of all the mile handicaps.
Thompson has Hooked nominated for the two Perth Group 1 features but said an Emirates win would likely rule him out of making the trip. He won the Railway in 2010 with Gathering.
“Perth was the plan a while back, being an entire, to give him the best opportunity to win a Group 1,’’ he said.
“I put that plan into action three or four weeks before the sale because there was a bit of interest from Perth breeders.
“I was thinking if he went over there and won one of their main races it makes him commercial for later on.
“If he wins the Emirates he probably wouldn’t go because he’d get weighted out of the Railway so we’d probably put him out for the autumn,” Thompson said.