Jockey Tommy Berry believes Panzer Division is still very much in the running for a win what is shaping up to be a cracking edition of the 2015 Hobartville Stakes in Sydney on Saturday despite the youngster’s wide draw.
There are 13 three-year-olds in the field for this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Blackwoods CRC Hobartville Stakes (1400m), the set weight clash to run as Rosehill Race 6 at 4:15pm (AEDT).
Current favourite in a tight Hobartville Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.20 in from $4.60, is the returning Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Caulfield Guineas champion Shooting To Win.
Blake Shinn has the ride on the Northern Meteor colt who is current favourite to head to Melbourne next month and win the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 14.
Shooting To Win is yet to win over 1400m but was a brave third to Hallowed Crown in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) over this track and distance during the spring before his wins in Sydney’s Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and then the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last time out over the mile in Melbourne.
Five of his rivals however join him at single figures in the Hobartville takes odds including Berry’s mount Panzer Division at $6, in from $6.50, to overcome the wide barrier 12 of 13 draw.
A winner of two of his six starts to date, the Paul Messara-trained Redoute’s Choice colt won the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) on a Heavy (9) Randwick track back in September last year defeating Shooting To Win by over a length.
He then went up to Group 1, open-age company and was far from disgraced when just two and a half lengths behind the Chris Waller-trained winner Sacred Falls in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
He also ran fifth to Hampton Court in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) one run later but failed to keep in touch with the winner when beaten over 13 lengths when stepped up in distance.
After a break Panzer Division returned to racing at Rosehill on January 31 running in a hot edition of the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m).
There he and jockey James McDonald caught the eye when beaten just over a length to finish fourth to French import Weary.
On Saturday in the Hobartville, McDonald jumps off Panzer Division in favour of a ride aboard the John O’Shea-trained Cox Plate eighth placed Lonhro colt Sweynesse ($8.50).
Berry then gets on Panzer Division having ridden the horse’s last start conqueror Weary to victory in the Expressway.
There is plenty to like about Messara’s horse heading into Saturday including him having won his only other 1400m start.
Berry also believes that second-up he’ll be right to fly over the distance even from the wide barrier.
“He’s a lovely horse that’s unfortunately drawn poorly but I think having that run over 1200m first-up kind of offsets his bad gate,” he told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.
The hoop certainly has a high opinion of Panzer Division and tips him for bigger things to come this autumn.
“He’s good enough to win a big race. Have a look at the horses that he’s defeated — Shooting To Win, Scissor Kick, they’re as good as you get in the three-year-old ranks,” Berry said.
Panzer Division is also 2015 Australian Guineas nominated like the bulk of his rivals on the weekend and pays $17 to win.
That price will shorten should he beat his rivals home in the Hobartville making now the time to head to Ladbrokes.com.au and back your favourites for both races before the markets firm!