Expert form analyst and bookmaker Paul Vincent rates veteran gelding Dao Dao as one of the best value bets for Golden Slipper Day 2011 naming the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained seven-year-old as the one to beat in the $400,000 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) tomorrow.
The 2011 George Ryder Stakes field features 15 classy weight-for-age gallopers with last start Coolmore Classic winning mare Aloha the clear $4.80 favourite in the betting.
Unbeaten in her past five starts, drawn ideally in barrier three and due to be ridden by champion jockey Glen Boss Mick Price’s daughter of Encosta De Lago is certainly not without her claims to become the 2011 George Ryder Stakes winner.
Drawn one outside of the favourite in barrier four for tomorrow, however, is market firmer and livewire chance Dao Dao.
Dao Dao was second behind Danleigh in this race last year and has been well backed to go one better and win this time round firming into the $8 second favourite behind Aloha.
Runner-up in the Emirates Stakes over the mile at Flemington during the spring, Dao Dao is third-up for the season in the George Ryder.
First-up he ran a game third to superstar More Joyous in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) before finishing less than half a length away second to Whobegotoyou in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) on March 12.
Back to 1500m on Saturday, Dao Dao should be fit and ready for this getting the gun run from his ideal draw with jockey Dwayne Dunn aboard.
“Dunn should have him in a nice position from his draw,” Luxbet’s Bookmaker Paul Vincent said.
Vincent has named Dao Dao as the best value bet this for Golden Slipper Day 2011.
“Dao Dao looks primed for this (the George Ryder) after two top runs since resuming in Melbourne the latest when narrowly beaten by Whobegotyou,” Vincent says.
“He can salute in what is a very difficult race.”
The other runner in the George Ryder Stakes field that Vincent tips to put in a top run is the Peter Snowden-trained Skilled.
Drawn in barrier two and one of the 56.5kg lightweights of the race, Commands colt Skilled is coming off a devastatingly close second to fellow George Ryder rival Ilovethiscity in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 12.
“Skilled was unlucky in the Randwick Guineas and he’s also drawn well which should enable him to settle near the speed (he) is the definite danger,” Vincent said.
Snowden, who also prepares the favourite Sepoy for Saturday’s $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), is looking at the George Ryder to tell him whether Skilled is ready for a run in the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 16.
“If he runs competitively in that (the George Ryder) then we’ll know we can go on to the Doncaster,” Snowden said.
Skilled would be an ideal lightweight chance for the Doncaster with 51kg.
The 2011 The Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes is scheduled as Rosehill Race 6 tomorrow at 3:10pm (AEDST).