Local Flemington trainer Dean Lawson is preparing to saddle up two chances in Wednesday’s Anzac Day Stakes 2012 field with one of the top fancies in Underestimation and one of the roughies in Tennesee Wills.
One of two Anzac Day races at Flemington this year along with the VRC St Leger, the $100,000 Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1410m) field features 15 promising two-year-olds.
Early favourites in the Anzac Day Stakes odds paying around $6.50 each are the lightly-raced Michael Kent-trained Priority Road having just their second career start, and Peter Snowden’s promising Lonhro filly Maluti.
The Peter Moody-trained debutant Prince Jester on the rails in barrier one with Luke Nolen riding follows closely in the Anzac Day Stakes betting markets at a quote of around $7, Underestimation also rated a $7 chance.
The well tried Al Samer colt certainly has a few obstacles to overcome including Underestimation’s wide barrier 14 of 15 draw and the 59kg topweight of the field.
Still their form is nothing to snub.
Two back Underestimation easily won the Listed St Albans Stakes (1200m) by three and a half lengths at Moonee Valley on March 16 before their last start second behind Big Chill in the Group 3 Marsh Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on March 31.
“He just had to do a little bit of work from the outside barrier that day, the leader probably dropped off a bit soon for us and left him in front earlier than what we wanted to, but he finished the race off a bit like a 1400-metre horse,” Lawson said.
“He’s taken no harm from that run.”
Lawson is confident that getting up to the seven furlongs on Wednesday will be the key to unlocking Underestimation’s best.
“We’ve been waiting to get him over 1400 (metres) and tomorrow’s our chance,” he said.
“As long as he can get some cover, I’m sure Steve (Arnold) will put him in the best spot he thinks possible, and hopefully his ability will get him there.”
Drawn far more favourably than their better fancied stablemate is then Not A Single Doubt colt Tennessee Wills in gate three with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
After a disappointing 10th on debut in the Listed Inglis Debutants Stakes (1000m) when prepared by Mick Price last October, Tennessee Wills has raced three times for new trainer Lawson running in the first four each time.
After their third to Underestimation in the St Albans Stakes Tennessee Wills was last seen finishing four and a half lengths away fourth behind $8 Anzac Day Stakes rival Boban in the Schweppes 2YO Handicap (1400m) at Sandown on April 4.
Despite the favourable gate Tennesse Willis is one of the outsiders in the Anzac Day Stakes markets paying around $26 to score an upset, but Lawson has warned not to write them off especially if the rain comes.
“What he lacks in ability he makes up in determination,” he said.
“He tries his guts out and was a very good third at Moonee Valley a couple of runs ago.
“With the rain that’s around at the moment, that will be in his favour because he really gets through it. With a little bit of luck he probably shouldn’t be all that far away either.”
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