Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra’s in-form local sprinter Durendal has opened clear favourite of the Standish Handicap 2016 final acceptances for Flemington’s New Year’s Day feature race in Melbourne on Friday.
A dozen hopes are set to face off in Flemington Race 7 at 4:06pm (AEST) on January 1 with the $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) continuing the Melbourne Summer Racing Carnival action.
Sitting top of the Standish Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at an early quote of $2.90 to score his third win on the trot is progressive Medaglia D’Oro four-year-old Durendal.
He boasts an outstanding Flemington record of five wins and two thirds from seven starts and after a 1400m win at Ballarat in November was last seen winning over Friday’s track and distance on December 12.
The next best in Standish Handicap betting paying $6 is runner-up in that same lead-up race, the John O’Shea-trained Sarajevo.
Durendal is in gate six on Friday with Damian Lane aboard while Godolphin’s Lonhro four-year-old Sarajevo is in barrier four with Craig Williams in the saddle.
Close third favourite at $6.50 is the widely-drawn Tried And Tired out in gate 10 for jockey Mark Zahra to overcome.
While the Standish Handicap barrier draw didn’t go the way of the classy Leon & Troy Corstens-trained Niello six-year-old, the smart gelding looks set for a big run two in with a 50% second-up strike rate to date.
First-up he was third to Wild Rain in the Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Sandown-Hillside on December 5 and with a three-from-six record over 1200m should be improving over the extra metres.
The last of the single figure hopes drawn better with barrier three is $8 chance Barbed who is also second-up on Friday.
O’Shea’s other runner, Canny Lad five-year-old Barbed has run second three times from five previous second-up assignments and is out to atone for a seventh to Cradle Me when beaten under two lengths in Randwick’s Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) from December 12.
Of the double figure Standish Handicap fancies this season those with the most claims look to be Peter Moody’s Doveton Stakes runner-up Office Bearer ($10) drawn to win in barrier two, the rails-drawn Lonrockstar ($13) for Caulfield’s John Sadler and up-in-class Ballarat galloper Zupachraged ($13).
Check out the full Standish Handicap 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 bonus welcome bet for first time depositing players that quote the code BETBONUS – below!