Caulfield’s John Sadler will saddle-up two punters’ picks on the Flemington Finals Day card in Melbourne this weekend with Vain Queen and Henwood both well backed to win their respective races.
There are four black-type races, plus a number of other top events to enjoy, lighting up Melbourne’s premier racecourse on Saturday and Sadler plays a strong hand with two of the day’s best fancied coming from his stables.
One of the shortest-priced favourites on the program is flying Artie Schiller mare Vain Queen.
The four-year-old pays $1.80 to win the $150,000 Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m), the handicap clash running as Race 4 at 2:25pm.
Drawn in barrier eight of 10 with Glen Boss to ride Vain Queen has won six of her eight career starts to date, including her past two on the trot and continues to improve.
The races she lost were after she suffered a case of the thumps so can be forgiven and forgotten.
She was on fire down the Flemington straight last start on June 28 for her win over The Thief in the All Victorian Heat 8 winning by three and three quarter lengths.
Her winning time was a blistering 1:02.48 over the 1100m, Vain Queen coming very close to the record set by Loveyamadly (1:02.15).
It was a brilliant on-speed display and that combined with her powerful turn of foot will take some beating again on the weekend if she can handle the rise from 54kg up to 56.5kg for the final as the $42,000 yearling buy looks to add to her $317,260 in prize money to date.
“The aim of this prep has been to get black type and she’s getting closer to that now,” Sadler told TVN this week.
“She’s fit, well and in good order. She doesn’t do a great deal between runs and I couldn’t be happier with her.
“Glen Boss is back aboard her. That’s a positive. He’s ridden her twice for two wins and if she runs like she did last start she’ll be very hard to beat.”
Sadler has also engaged the services of Boss for his other top chance, Henwood racing in the $150,000 Listed VRC – CRV Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) two runs later.
A five-year-old son of Savabeel, Henwood is at $4.40 and firming in the Winter Championship odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Drawn in gate 11 they will carry 55kg, Boss aboard on that weight for their two most recent runs.
After a win over fellow finalist Tried And Tiered three back over the 1400m here in May, Henwood ran three lengths away fifth to the same horse in Heat 3 on June 14.
They were fifth again this time to Akavoroun, a $7 chance for the weekend, in Heat 6 of the series over 1410m.
Henwood ran the best finishing sectionals that run though with the final 1000m completed in a smart 57.01.
They go up to a mile for the first time and it is the step up in distance that Sadler is hoping will see them return to the winners’ stall.
“He’s a chance in an open race. There’s not going to be a lot between half a dozen horses,” Sadler said.
“He is by Savabeel. I doubt the distance would trouble him.
“The reason he hasn’t raced over this distance previously is because it’s taken him a long time to learn how to settle, so we’ve been running him in races where there’s been really good tempo.
“Ideally I’d like to see him settle a little closer to the lead than last start.”
To get behind Sadler’s contingent in Melbourne this weekend at the best prices head over to Ladbrokes.com.au where your first deposit will also be matched dollar for dollar up to $250 as a bonus welcome bet!