Best Odds with Top Tote+ and Bet Back Offers!
Register at Australia's #1 Online Bookmaker!
Back A Winner!
Sign-Up to Australia's Fastest Growing Online Bookmaker!
Back Yourself!
Sign-up and start betting with Ladbrokes in 2 minutes!
Best Of The Best Odds!
Bet With Palmerbet and get Paid Top Fluc or Top Tote!
Massive Odds on All Races!
Sign-up and start betting with PlayUp in 2 minutes!
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Image: Steve Hart
A wet track at Rosehill is expected to be no issue for the Villiers Stakes-bound Ellsberg

Trainers Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou appear to have pulled the right rein in deciding not to run Ellsberg in The Gong with the horse opening favourite for the Festival Stakes on his home track.

Ryan said they did consider heading to last weekend’s Kembla Grange feature but decided the timing of Saturday’s 1500 metre race was a better fit.

Ellsberg is being aimed towards next month’s Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick after a solid spring which has included a close second to Aim in the Silver Eagle and a sound seventh behind I’m Thunderstruck and Gong winner Count De Rupee in the Golden Eagle.

“It was always on the radar that he would have those two lead-up runs into the Golden Eagle and then he’d either go to The Gong, or he would wait for this race and then head to the Villiers,” Ryan said on Sydney’s Sky Sports Radio.

“I thought it might have been better giving him a month between runs and two weeks into the Villiers instead of going three weeks and three weeks.

“Plus it’s 1500 on his home track in a Group Three and he’s still a colt.”

Ellsberg was at $3.50 with TAB fixed odds on Wednesday with Art Cadeau and Brutality sharing the second line of betting at $7.

Bandersnatch is the only other one of the 17 runners at single-figure odds as a $9.50 chance.

Heavy rain is forecast in Sydney over the coming days and while Ellsberg is yet to win on rain-affected ground, he has placed at all three runs on soft and heavy tracks.

His adaptability has come as somewhat of a surprise to Ryan, who said he had expected the four-year-old to struggle in testing conditions given his big frame.

“Looking at the horse, he is a big, strong heavy horse and you wouldn’t think he’d like the wet ground, but do I reckon he can get through it,” Ryan said.

“He ran second at his second start in a race against Enchanted Heart on a heavy nine at Rosehill and Enchanted Heart is hard to beat on wet ground any time.

“It’s not ideal but they’ve all got to go through it.”

The Festival Stakes is a traditional springboard into the Villiers with Montone in 2011 the last horse to win both races.

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
Featured News

Free Racing Bonus Bets and Offers

We take a look at the BIGGEST and BEST Free Daily Racing Offers and Betting Promotions from Australia’s leading online...

Popular young jockey drowns in Queensland

Popular young jockey Chris Caserta is feared to have drowned after a late night swim at a Surfers Paradise beach...

Black Caviar gives birth to a filly

Champion mare Black Caviar has foaled down a filly by champion sire Written Tycoon. One of Black Caviar’s part-owners Pam...

Champion jockey Glen Boss announces retirement

Champion jockey Glen Boss will have his last ride this weekend at Caulfield as he calls an end to an...

Kingston Town Classic

The is a  race held at each year. The  event is held in December each year and is one of...

Pakenham Cup

The is a race held at in Victoria each year. The () boasts a total prize pool of and is...

Australian Bookmaker Reviews

Which bookmaker should you bet with? We Review each of the leading online Australian Bookmakers and rate them in order...


Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.
18+ Don't let the game play you. Stay in control. Gamble responsibly. Think! About your choices. Call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858 or visit or