Nine two-year-old horses are set to contest the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Sandown Racecourse on Saturday in a bid to earn a place in the field for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) in three weeks’ time.
Five of the juveniles are offering single figure odds in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, led by Prompt Return at $3.10.
The Danny O’Brien-trained colt is favourite to win the 2015 Chairman’s Stakes after finishing first two in all three of his starts. Prompt Return won his debut at Bendigo last October before going on to win the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) on November 8.
It was an impressive victory for Prompt Return, winning two lengths clear of Old Trieste. The colt was then defeated for the first time in the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) two weeks later and subsequently spelled.
Prompt Return will jump from barrier seven with James Winks to ride and the jockey is confident the colt will not only win the Chairman’s Stakes but go on to be a contender in the $1 million Blue Diamond.
However he will need to beat home eight determined rivals, including four other single figure hopes.
- #2 Thurlow ($4) – Robert Smerdon’s filly is second favourite to make the Chairman’s Stakes her own after finishing first and second in her two starts during the spring. Thurlow was a fast-finishing runner-up in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) on debut before winning the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) in a three-way photo finish. The filly will wear blinkers for the first time as she jumps from barrier two to give her a better chance at success.
- #7 Haybah ($4.40) – One of two horses saddled by trainer David Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the race, Haybah will jump from barrier five with Stephen Baster. The filly was an impressive runner-up to Fontiton in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Sandown last Monday, so her form is in good order. It’s a good turnaround for the filly who finished second last in the Airline Plate.
- #6 More Than Most ($7) – The second of Hayes & Dabernig’s runners, More Than Most is on the third line of betting along with Parcel. The market mover has seen plenty of support in the betting market with his price shortening from $10. It’s a bit of a surprise considering the colt will make his debut in the Chairman’s Stakes, however he has drawn ideally in barrier three.
- #9 Parcel ($7) – After throwing off Chris Parnham before a Moonee Valley race last Friday, Wez Hunter’s Parcel has been given the go-ahead by chiropractors to continue on her juvenile autumn path. The filly won her maiden a Bendigo in December, breaking the track record over 900 metres in the process, but will need to overcome a wide start from barrier nine.
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