In a relatively quiet weekend for racing, Flemington Racecourse will host a nine-race meeting that includes the Piping Lane Handicap (2000m).
A small yet classy field of 10 potential stayers will contest the $80,000 handicap race, headlined by Extra Zero.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained eight-year-old gelding is in great form after he finished in the first three in all eight of his starts this campaign.
Extra Zero has had a relatively long campaign that began with a third place in the Listed Sofitel (1400m) on September 13. Since then the gelding has gone on to place in the Kyneton Cup (2000m) and Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m). He didn’t score his first win until January 1 in the Byron Moore Handicap, winning a head in front of Fulgur.
The gelding settled near the rear after jumping from barrier five and went for splits two from the inside. He hit the front 200 metres out. Lost plenty of momentum in the end but bobbed when it counted.
Extra Zero will carry the top weight of 59kg in the Piping Lane Handicap and jump from barrier eight with usual hoop Michael Walker to ride.
He is a $7 shot in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au seeing as he has had trouble crossing the line first in the past.
Darren Weir’s Taiyoo is the $4 favourite, set to jump from barrier three with Brad Rawiller to ride. The five-year-old gelding finished fourth to Extra Zero in the Byron Moore Handicap last time out but was a back-to-back winner of a Benchmark 84 (1800m) and Benchmark 90 (2000m) prior to that.
Other single figure hopefuls in the Piping Lane Handicap betting include Garud ($5), Fulgur ($5.50), Are There Any ($7), Tooleybuc Kid ($8.50), and Magnapal ($9.50). This leaves only three runners with lucrative double figure odds.
Michael Moroney’s Garud is a last start winner of the Woodfood Cup (1700m) at the end of December while Fulgur tried hard in the Byron Moore Handicap, missing out on the win to Extra Zero by a bob of the head.
Peter Moody’s Are There Any will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one with Regan Bayliss to ride.
Check out the complete list of odds for the 2015 Piping Lane Handicap below and place your bets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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