Lee & Shannon Hope’s improving four-year-old Sir Andrew has opened favourite to win his maiden black-type down under in Flemington’s Winter Championship Series Final 2015 on Saturday.
The Sir Percy gelding has had eight starts to date for two wins, five of those runs being back in New Zealand before his transfer down under to the Hope’s Seymour stable.
In New Zealand the Kiwi expat won in Group 2 company over 1400m and this weekend in the $150,000 Listed VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) he will have his first stakes assignment since that success at Hastings back in October of 2013.
His three runs in Australia have all been at Flemington Racecourse including a last start fourth when beaten under two lengths by the Chris Waller-trained Amovatio in Heat 6 of the Winter Championship.
Craig Williams has been aboard for his two most recent runs and retains the ride on Saturday from barrier nine, into seven with the scratchings and emergencies out, in the capacity 16-starter field.
With improvement expected as he gets up to a mile, the bookies are taking no chances with Sir Andrew and he sits top of the latest Winter Championship Series Finals odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at a quote of $4.40.
Close second pick in the markets at $4.80 is then the Robert Smerdon-trained Mr Utopia (barrier 11) who will jump from gate eight, which is the perfect position according to the stable.
Jockey Dwayne Dunn takes over for Mark Zahara in the saddle of the Elusive Quality five-year-old who ran sixth to Amovatio last time out with 59kg from barrier 13 of 13 but will be improving from a better gate with the same weight this weekend.
Following the early scratching of Pin Your Hopes and Clanga’s Glory, the first two of the four emergencies are now guaranteed a start including current $7 third favourite Kenjorwood.
Co-top weight on 60kg with Waller’s last start heat winner Amovatio, the in-form Peter Moody-trained Kenjorwood comes off a string of top three runs around Melbourne.
Three of those in April and May were at Flemington before a last start third over 2040m at Moonee Valley a month ago.
The others under $10 for the win are then Waller’s heavily weighted and widely drawn Al Maher four-year-old Amovatio ($8) shooting for back-to-back victories and Tried And Tired ($9) who ran second over 1400m at Caulfield only last Saturday.
At more generous odds but still with a big chance for the win are the likes of the Michael Kent-trained veteran eight-year-old Good Value ($10) who is only lightly raced for his age having his 24th start on Saturday, John Sadler’s Savabeel six-year-old Henwood ($12) and Heat 6 third placegetter Venture On ($13).
See below for the full Winter Championship Series Final 2015 odds, betting open online through Ladbrokes.com.au who will also match your initial investment 100% up to $500 when you use the code BETBONUS!