First-up winner on Melbourne Cup Day Reparations carries the number one saddlecloth and currently sits as the equal favourite in the 2015 Standish Handicap field and betting markets for Flemington Racecourse on New Year’s Day.
Lee & Anthony Freedman’s Exceed And Excel gelding is one of 11 sprinters accepted for Thursday’s edition of the $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) with the six-year-old drawn ideally in barrier two.
From that gate he will carry the top weight of 59kg with Dwayne Dunn aboard, the Group 1 performed galloper rising notably from the 55.5kg he had aboard for a first-up win at the track and distance on November 4.
That day he won the Listed MSS Security Stakes (1200m) by one and a quarter lengths over Office Bearer with Wayne Lordan aboard, Reparations racing for the first time since a failed 15th in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1200m) in Brisbane back in June.
Before that he won the Listed Anniversary Vase (1440m), with Dunn aboard, in May and so he has the class for this week’s assignment if he can handle the weight.
The bookies believe he’s a genuine shot to do just that with Ladbrokes.com.au installing Reparations as the equal $4 favourite in their Standish Handicap odds with Lord Of The Sky.
Also drawn well with gate four, Robbie Laing’s Danerich four-year-old Lord Of The Sky drops two kilograms from last time out with Noel Callow to ride him on 57.5kg.
The stallion was second past the post when beaten one and three quarter lengths on Boxing Day at Sandown-Lakeside with 59.5kg for the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m0 behind Tried And Tired.
That was his fifth top four run on the trot with his last win being in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield back in early July.
Two other horses also currently pay single-figures through Ladbrokes to win the Standish Handicap this summer including the $6 market mover Aeronautical.
Backed in from $6.50, Lionel Cohen’s Sydney raider has the outside barrier 11 draw to overcome but has top hoop Damien Oliver aboard for the ride.
Best known for his Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) third here behind Terravista back in 2013, Aeronautical is on the improve according to his Rosehill-based trainer who believes he can atone for a first-up sixth in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) back home on November 29 behind 2015 Stradbroke Handicap-bound Our Boy Malachi.
Rounding out the hopes under $10 is then the Peter Moody-trained stallion Office Bearer out from $6.50 to $7 to make up for his last start ninth behind Fast ‘n’ Rocking in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown-Hillside on November 15.
Before that the five-year-old was runner-up to Reparations in the MSS Security Stakes, and the drop back from 59kg in the Kevin Heffernan to 55kg should suit tomorrow.
In an open affair all but the $61 roughie Future Solution are under $20 in the Standish Handicap markets this season.
Other notable hopes at nicer odds include Adelaide raider Whitlam ($13) coming off a Listed win at home over the distance from December 6, Snippertson stallion Mister Milton ($13) and Christmas Stakes sixth placed veteran Solsay ($15).
See below for the full Standish Handicap 2015 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and fixed win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $250 bonus sign-up bet when you deposit and quote the code BETBONUS!