Hill Stakes 2016 Tips, Odds and Field Preview

Numbers are down, but the Hill Stakes (2000m) still brings together a quality field. Three of Australia’s top trainers supply the seven runners.

Chris Waller’s four-time Group 1 winner Preferment is joined by other elite level winning stablemates – Who Shot The Barman, Grand Marshal and Group 2 winner Storm The Stars.

John O’Shea saddles two Group 1 winners – short priced favourite Hartnell and Magic Hurricane. Melbourne Cup favourite Signoff will represent top Victorian trainer Darren Weir, though surprisingly Weir is yet to train a winner in Sydney.

Expect to see most of these horses lock horns again in the big spring majors, the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup .

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Odds: ($1.40)

Godolphin six-year-old, that is on the second line of betting ($21), for the Melbourne Cup.

Why he can: Looked the winner a long way out when he scored a dominant (7.8length) win in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m). Fitter for two runs from a break and appears set for a big spring.

Why he can’t: A dry track may bring him back to the field. He has won on a good surface, but five of his eight wins have been on rain-affected ground.



Odds: ($8.50)

Four-time Group 1 winner trained by Chris Waller and won this race last year. The five-year-old entire is a $34 chance for the Caulfield Cup.

Why he can: Was not comfortable in the heavy going when first-up fourth, beaten 8.1 lengths, to Hartnell in the Chelmsford. Rarely puts in a bad one and won this race last year when second-up.

Why he can’t: A heavy track will greatly reduce his chances and may be looking for longer than 2000m.



 Odds: ($15)

Another Waller runner, this eight-year-old finished 11th in last year’s Melbourne Cup.

Why he can: Out to a more suitable distance following two runs from a spell. He battled on behind Hartnell last start, without threatening.

Why he can’t: Has developed into an out and out stayer and the first Tuesday in November is where he will have his main mission.



 Odds: ($15)

This seven-year-old gelding won last year’s Sydney Cup in April and is a $51 chance to win the Melbourne Cup.

Why he can: Was having his second start from a spell when he ran on powerfully, coming from last on the home turn to finish second to Hartnell. Fitter for two runs from a break and out to 2000m is more to his liking.

Why he can’t: Sydney Cup was his last win. Will struggle to stay in touch and better suited over 2400m and beyond.



Odds: ($12)

Former English stayer, who finished second in last year’s Irish Derby. He appears to have come on following his first preparation under Waller, during the Sydney autumn.

Why he can: Waller would have learned a lot about the horse from his autumn campaign. He resumed from a spell with an encouraging third to Hartnell. The five-year-old led and despite racing on the fence, which was the worst part of the track, he fought on strongly.

Why he can’t: He may need another run or two to come to hand.



Odds: ($10)

This Godolphin seven-year-old  gelding is the stablemate of Hartnell. Won last year’s Group 1 The Metropolitan.

Why he can: Looked the winner but tired late when third at Listed level in Premier’s Cup. That was his second run from a break, so he will have taken improvement and should get the gun run from the rails draw.

Why he can’t: He had a light autumn and didn’t perform. Not doing enough to suggest he is getting back to top form.



Odds: ($21)

A lightly raced seven-year-old prepared by Melbourne trainer Darren Weir. He finished fourth in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and is $17 favourite for this year’s Cup.

Why he can: Racing into fitness and two runs from a break should have him primed to be very competitive over 2000m.

Why he can’t: he is a dead-set stayer and will find this trip too short.



1. Hartnell

2. Preferment

3. Magic Hurricane



Who Shot The Barman

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