With the non-acceptance of Elite Belle, owners Sandra and Bob Peters are still going to saddle up the favourite in Saturday’s Strickland Stakes 2014 with Ranger top fancy for the Belmont Park feature.
The Testa Rossa seven-year-old comes off a close second to super mare Elite Belle in the Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) from two weeks ago, and with her now in the spelling paddock, Saturday could be Ranger’s time to shine.
The veteran lines up in the $125,000 Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m) in WA as one of just nine hopes.
While the Adam Durrant-trained Ranger has the outside barrier to overcome, they are well liked in the latest Strickland Stakes betting markets paying $2.75 to win.
William Pike jumps aboard replacing Peter Hall with Ranger looking to break a lengthy two and a half year drought having gone without a win since the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot in November of 2011.
Following Ranger, the Strickland Stakes odds are a fairly open affair with four others under $10 to win.
The next best in betting at $4.60 is last start winner Operational in gate four with Mitchell Pateman to ride.
Fred Kersley’s Tiger Hill gelding enjoyed a victory over the 2200m here last Saturday and drop back in distance for their Group 3 assignment this weekend.
Ultra-consistent of late stringing together five top three runs the five-year-old also drops back in weight here under the WFA conditions which will also suit.
Following on $7 is then Kerlsey’s rising nine-year-old Grand Nirvana and then Fancy Feet ($7.50) drawn in barriers one and two respectively.
Grand Nirvana defied their age and their recent form last start relishing a step up to the mile when third, beaten only half a length, in the Hyperion which could prove the form to beat again on Saturday.
Shane Quilty’s four-year-old Fath mare Fancy Feet meanwhile has been racing well in the lower class staying events, most recently finishing second to Operational last Saturday and like them is down in distance this weekend.
Rounding out the single figure chances is then the Greg Kerlsey-trained Hyperion Stakes fourth placegetter When We Were Kings ($8.50), before fifth and sixth placed in that race Kalahaar and the Neville Parnahm-trained Pentire gelding Bridgestone enter calculations at $10 each.
The full Strickland Stakes 2014 betting odds are listed below, fixed win prices punters can lock in right now online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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