Defending champ First Command has opened odds-on favourite to go back-to-back in Saturday’s Kensington Stakes 2013 at Flemington after their first-up win earlier in the month.
Anthony Freedman’s seven-year-old Commands gelding won their first race since last year’s $120,000 Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m), which they race in again on the weekend, when they resumed with a good one and a quarter length victory at Caulfield on February 5.
Their jockey for that victory, Glen Boss, retains the ride for this year’s Kensington with First Command to face just five rivals.
Drawn ideally in gate three carrying 59kg, one kilo less than at Caulfield and only one kilo more than their weight in this event 12 months ago, First Command is dominating the Kensington Stakes odds at short quote of $1.70.
Two other horses are also at single figures in the latest Kensington Stakes betting markets with Rocking Force ($7) and Good Ba Ba ($8).
Equal 59kg top-weight with First Command, Mandy Shillito’s Oamaru Force eight-year-old Rocking Force comes face to face with their last start conqueror having run second to the Kensington favourite first-up at Caulfield.
In that run the veteran carried only 56.5kg to First Command’s 60kg so meeting them equal in the weights on Saturday is certainly going to be a tough assignment and Rocking Force’s trainer said they would be thrilled if they could run second again.
Good Ba Ba meanwhile is the genuine veteran of the field at 11 years old, the seven time Group 1 winning former Hong Kong star having been bought out of retirement to join Rick Hore-Lacy in Melbourne.
The Lear Fan gelding had their first run in 20 months at Flemington on New Year’s Day running fourth to Adamantium in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) and will probably find the drop back to 1000m here a bit sharp.
It is a really open market outside the top fancy with the Wayne Nichols-trained Diplomatic Force and visiting Adelaide sprinter Belfast Boy, coming off a January 1st win at Flemington over this distance, then paying $10 while Fastnet Rock mare Light Express is the ‘roughie’ of the field at $12.
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2013 Kensington Stakes Odds
Flemington Race 3 – 2:10pm (AEST) – 19/01/2013
|1||FIRST COMMAND (3)||1.70|
|2||ROCKING FORCE (1)||7.00|
|3||GOOD BA BA (4)||8.00|
|4||DIPLOMATIC FORCE (2)||10.00|
|5||BELFAST BOY (5)||10.00|
|6||LIGHT EXPRESS (6)||12.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change