The Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m) is one of nine races running at Flemington this Saturday, attracting a field of eight sprint-mile runners.
Betting for the TAB Rewards Stakes remains wide open at Ladbrokes.com.au, seven of the eight horses are on single digit odds. Leading the field at the moment is Akavoroun at $3.
The Ciaron Maher-trained gelding will jump from barrier four with Michelle Payne to ride. He has won two of his four starts at Flemington and four of his five starts over 1400 metres, however not since the Listed Winter Championship Final (1600m) in July last year.
Akavouroun has had a rough time of it lately, failing to place in any of his five past starts. He stepped up to Group One racing twice during the spring, finishing midfield in the Sir Rupert Clarke Charity Cup (1400m) and fourth in the Toorak Handicap (1600m), just one length behind winner Trust In A Gust.
The gelding resumed in a Benchmark 96 over 1200m at Flemington on February 21 but only got clear late so despite hitting the line well was outside the placings in fourth.
The 2015 TAB Rewards Stakes is shaping up to be a tough race with all but one runner on single digits in the betting. See below for information on three more runners.
- #1 Hard Stride ($4.20) – The Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained gelding is second favourite in the betting after winning a Benchmark 96 over 1200m at Flemington two weeks ago, beating Akavoroun. Hard Stride has yet to be tested over the trip but has finished first three in four of his six starts at Flemington. The gelding will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one with Damian Lane to ride but will shoulder the lone top weight of 59kg.
- #4 Decircles ($8) – Danny O’Brien’s six-year-old gelding continues his strong campaign in the TAB Rewards Stakes on Saturday, which has included five starts since January 1 alone. Decircles began his year with a win in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) before finishing runner-up in the Listed Barton Stakes (1400m). The gelding will jump well from barrier two with Ben Melham to ride.
- #6 Tougher Than Ever ($9) – Chris Waller’s five-year-old horse has seen a big push from punters with his opening price of $13 shortening to $9 in the past day. Tougher Than Ever will be making his debut at Flemington on Saturday but has placed in half of his eight starts over the trip. The horse will jump from barrier seven with Glen Boss to ride.
Check out the fixed-price live betting market for the 2015 TAB Rewards Stakes below. Place your first bet at Ladbrokes.com.au to receive up to $250 in a bonus match.