With the current punters’ pick First Command easing in their favouritism, Mark Kavanagh’s consistent Snitzel four-year-old Weekend Special could jump the top elect in the Kensington Stakes 2012 at Flemington this Saturday.
Due to jump at 4:10pm (VIC time) as Flemington Race 6, the $125,000 Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) has attracted a final field of 11 with the Anthony Freedman-trained First Command, coming off a close third in the Listed Doveton Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago, the drifting Luxbet favourite out from $5 to $5.50.
Occupying the second line of Kensington Stakes betting is then Weekend Special at a quote of $6 through Luxbet.
A lightly-raced gelding who has won three of their seven career starts to date, Weekend Special boasts an impeccable place percentage of 100% having finished second or third in their other four assignments.
While as yet untested against stakes company, Kavanagh has seen enough in their recent runs to suggest they can match it with their Kensington Stakes rivals on Saturday, especially over the 1000 metres.
“He’s a lightly-raced, promising horse,” Kavanagh said.
“He’s been running good times so he’s earned a crack at a race like this.”
Crucial to their chances is how Weekend Special handles the Flemington straight, which they see for the first time.
“He has to go down the straight for the first time which is always a worry but we’ll see how he goes,” Kavanagh said.
With their opening five runs being in South Australia, Weekend Special made their Melbourne debut back on December nine winning at Moonee Valley over 955m.
They then went down a mere neck when second to General Truce, a $7.50 chance at Luxbet for the Kensington Stakes, at the same track and distance on New Year’s Eve.
Drawn just worse than midfield in barrier seven with Michael Rodd engaged, Kavanagh is confident Weekend Special will come up with the goods this weekend and continue onto the richer autumn features this season.
“There are some good seasoned sprinters in the race so we’ll get a good idea of where he is at,” Kavanagh said.
“If he doesn’t measure up we can send him back to (Moonee) Valley.”
Other notable rivals in the Kensington Stakes include David Balfour’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate-bound Obsidian Dragon ($8.50) who vies four her fourth straight turf triumph, and the Danny O’Brien-trained Encosta De Lago colt Decircles ($5.50) racing for the first time since their four and a half length Seymour win back in August over Godspeed.
Check out the full Flemington race fields and odds for this Saturday at our preferred online bookie Luxbet now and if you are a first-time depositing punter make sure you quote the code BONUSBET to enjoy a $400 bonus bet to use on a race of your choice!