A nasty draw has dampened the chances of Brett Scott’s in-form mare Coronation Shallan winning Saturday’s 2015 Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington Racecourse.
The five-year-old daughter of Strategic is one of a capacity field of milers due to face off in Flemington Race 7 at 3:30pm (AEST) on Saturday afternoon – the $150,000 Listed VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final (1600m).
Two of the four emergency runners are already set to get a run after the scratching of Pin Your Hopes (6) and Clanga’s Glory (20), the Peter Moody-trained duo of Kenjorwood and Metaphorical set to jump from barriers one and 12 respectively.
Coronation Shallan meanwhile came up with barrier 18, that will become gate 14 after scratchings and emergencies out.
Winter Championship Series Final betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is led by Sir Andrew ($4.40) coming off a fourth in Heat 6 behind Amovatio who pays $8 with the 60kg top weight to win the final encounter on the weekend.
Scott’s hope Coronation Shallan, to be ridden by apprentice Michael Dee in the non-claiming race, can be found further down the markets at $17 after the wide draw.
Her form into the race however is very good with three top three runs on the trot.
The latest of those was at Ballarat over the mile when beating home Freshwater Storm by a nose with Dee in the saddle, adding to her nice record over 1600m (6-1-3-1).
A better barrier five draw helped her that day but she’ll need to improve to do it over the same metres with the same 54kg minimum weight but from an outside alley on Saturday.
Scott, a former champion jumps jockey turned Mornington-based trainer, has gone from competing on Flemington’s Finals Day in the Grand National Steeplechase that was once held at the meeting, to hopefully training a winner on the card.
He is keeping positive even though the barrier suggests it will be a tough task for Coronation Shallan, Scott hoping the pressure isn’t too much for young Dee.
“We’ll probably just have to hope the rail is not the place to be by the end of the day with the rain that is forecast,” Scott told Racenet.
“It’s very hard to plan from that gate so we’ll just have to leave it to the jockey I suppose.”
If he were to impart any instructions to Dee, it would be to try and get some cover for as long as possible, if luck allowed.
“It’s tricky because she can’t be exposed too early because she’s a bit vulnerable at the end,” Scott said.
“It would be great if she got cover for a long way and finish well.”
Following former Group 2 winning Kiwi expat Sir Andrew in the Winter Championship Series Final odds are the likes of the Robert Smerdon-trained Mr Utopia ($4.80) who ran sixth in the same lead-up heat, the rails-drawn Kenjorwood ($7) who carries the equal 60kg now he’s assured of a run on the back of some eye-catching form.
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