Pun­ters mis­trust re­turn­ing toplin­ers

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MATT STEWART

THE train­ers say maybe but the money says “no’’ for the re­turn of toplin­ers Hey Doc and I Am A Star in to­mor­row’s Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flem­ing­ton to­mor­row.

Bet­ting mar­kets have taken an “ab­so­lutely bizarre’’ turn since they opened around lunchtime on Wed­nes­day ac­cord­ing to TAB spokesman Trent Langskaill.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mar­ket change so much in such a short time,’’ he said.

“The good horses are out the gate and the money has come for Grande Rosso and Flip­pant. Maybe we opened Hey Doc and I Am A Star too short but I think the mes­sage is that both horses will im­prove from the run.’’

Group One stars Hey Doc and I Am A Star are us­ing the Aurie’s Star as a pipe- opener for the $ 1 mil­lion Mem­sie Stakes at Caulfield on Au­gust 27.

The mar­ket place mes­sage is that each is vul­ner­a­ble first- up to­mor­row.

I Am A Star opened the $ 4.20 favourite but blew out to $ 7.50 yes­ter­day af­ter­noon and Aus­tralian Guineas win­ner Hey Doc opened at $ 4.80 and blew out to $ 6.50.

The money came for Grande Rosso, with a $ 2000 bet at $ 19 spark­ing a tum­ble into $ 6, and Syd­ney vis­i­tor Flip­pant, who opened at $ 7 and was last night the $ 4.60 favourite.

Both Tony McEvoy ( Hey Doc) and Shane Ni­chols ( I Am A Star) said their horses could win but con­ceded they would im­prove and were vul­ner­a­ble.

“He can cer­tainly win but he’s at his best sec­ond- up and that’s the Mem­sie for $ 1 mil­lion,’’ McEvoy said.

Ni­chols said I Am A Star was “as good as she’s ever looked’’.

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