Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig does not think there is too much between Aysar and Crosshaven who meet again in the $250,000 Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
However, punters think it will be Aysar’s race and have already heavily-backed the colt from $2.80 to $2.15 with TAB while Crosshaven has been a $4 to $4.40 betting drifter.
Aysar and Crosshaven will be meeting for the third time on Saturday with the standing “one all”.
Crosshaven won the Group 3 Guineas Prelude at Caulfield in September relegating Aysar to sixth position, before Aysar was run down late by Ole Kirk in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), finishing second, with Crosshaven in fourth spot.
Both had been entered for the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) on Saturday, but Dabernig, who trains in partnership with his cousin Ben Hayes, said the stable had decided on taking the “conservative route”.
“They’ve both come on well out of the Guineas,” Dabernig said.
“Crosshaven has had one more run this prep than Aysar, but he copped a bit of a tough run in the Guineas from a wide draw and Aysar ended up getting a good run.
“But I don’t think there’s a lot between the two.
“Aysar was clearly impressive in the Guineas, but I think if Crosshaven had a better run in the race he probably runs third.
“This will be the third time they’ve met and they’ve both handled their racing well.”
Aysar (rails) winning at Sandown, picture Racing Photos
Dabernig expects both to be heading for a break after Saturday, ruling out a start in the $2 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday week.
“We’re aiming Fifty Stars at it and we’ll probably have Harlem in it as well,” Dabernig said.
“We did run Seaburge in the Mackinnon a few years ago. He had placed in the Guineas and we went on to the Mackinnon, and he really didn’t do much after that.
“I’ve got that in the back of my mind, so I’m a bit gun-shy going to the Mackinnon with this pair and I’d be advising to give them a break after Derby day.”
Fifty Stars runs in the Cantala Stakes and shares the third line of betting at $10 with Rock behind Mr Quickie ($5) and Buffalo River ($6).
The winner of the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in the autumn, Fifty Stars had a delayed start to his spring campaign.
After finishing eighth over an unsuitable 1200m in the Gilgai Stakes first-up at Flemington, Fifty Stars was a last start third in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 17.
“He ran well at Caulfield and is a good Flemington horse,” Dabernig said.
“He’s going to the Cantala third-up and he’s got a reasonable back-up record, so all going well he’ll go to the Mackinnon.”