Zero Rock Tops 2011 Travel Associates Classic Odds

Markets have been released at bookmakers around the country for this Saturday’s exciting eight-race Eagle Farm program including those for the fillies’ and mares’ black-type, the Travel Associates Classic 2011, with defending champ Zero Rock unsurprisingly leading the markets.

Zero Rock

Zero Rock has opened the short-priced favourite to win the 2011 Travel Associates Classic Plate in Brisbane on Saturday

Scheduled to run as Eagle Farm Race 6 at 3:45pm (local time), the $80,000 Listed Travel Associates Classic Fillies and Mares Plate (1200m) currently features a top 12-horse field that includes last year’s winner Zero Rock back to defend her title.

After drawing ideally in barrier three with the red-hot Chris Munce booked for the ride, Kelso Wood’s Stradbroke Handicap third placegetter has opened the short-priced $2.25 favourite in the Luxbet Travel Associates Classic odds.

It is a relatively open betting affair for the Brisbane feature this weekend, five of Zero Rock’s rivals at single-figures to cause an upset.

The favourite is followed in the markets by Dystopia ($5.50 Luxbet), David Murphy’s in-form four-year-old Mossriver ($7.50 Luxbet), the Brian Wakefield-trained 2012 Magic Millions Sprint-bound Nuptse ($7.50 Luxbet), consistent Exceed And Excel mare Liesele ($8 Luxbet) and Sunshine Coast Cup runner-up Dual Chamber ($9.50 Luxbet).

Chris Waller’s second-elect Dystopia, however, is likely to be scratched in favour of a run at Rosehill on Festival Stakes Day this Saturday, the leading Sydney horseman saying that Zero Rock would be hard to topple.

“I don’t want to send her (Dystopia) up (to Brisbane) just to run second or third to Zero Rock who is well weighted,” Waller said on Wednesday.

“Her form is excellent but she might be better off staying home.”

Another trainer wary of Zero Rock is local horseman Liam Birchely who prepares current fourth favourite Liesele, the four-year-old last seen running second to Les Kelly’s red-hot Gold Coast galloper Alltherightmoves in a 1020 metre sprint at Doomben on November 19.

“Alltherightmoves is very promising but I was pleased with Liesele’s run behind her,” Birchely said.

“She had the outside alley (11 of 11) and was dropping back in distance which is very hard (1200m to 1020m).

“It’s doubly hard to win over 1000 metres at Doomben from a wide barrier.

“I thought she did a good job on a track which suited front runners.”

That was Liesele’s third second place finish on the trot, Birchely hoping she can go one better against a resuming Zero Rock on Saturday after they drew the inside alley in the Travel Associates Classic Plate barrier draw.

“She (Zero Rock) looks pretty good to me but I presume she’s going to improve a lot further after this run,” he said.

“If we are to beat her, now is probably the best time to strike.”

Other longer-priced chances not without their claims include Norm Hilton’s Show A Heart four-year-old Norocos ($14 Luxbet) racing second-up for the season and Deagon-based mare Catashee ($16 Luxbet)

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2011 Travel Associates Classic Plate Odds

Eagle Farm Race 6 – 03/12/2011

# Horse (Barrier) Odds*
1 ZERO ROCK (3) 2.25 Luxbet
2 DUAL CHAMBER (7) 9.50 Luxbet
3 CATASHEE (5) 16.00 Luxbet
4 CARIAD (9) 21.00 Luxbet
5 DYSTOPIA (1) 5.50 Luxbet
6 LIESELE (2) 8.00 Luxbet
7 GENERAL SECRETARY (12) 61.00 Luxbet
8 NOROCOS (11) 14.00 Luxbet
9 MOSSRIVER (6) 7.50 Luxbet
10 CICARELLI (8) 51.00 Luxbet
11 NUPTSE (10) 7.50 Luxbet
12 BEDLUM (4) 35.00 Luxbet

*Fixed Win Odds provided by Luxbet and subject to change