Chris Waller’s fillies dominate the nominations...
The Standish Handicap 2016 headlines the New Year’s Day race line-up at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne on Friday, January 1, betting tips and odds for the sprint showdown detailed below.
There are 12 in the mix for this season’s $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) that is set to run as Flemington Race 7 at 4:06pm (AEST) on Friday.
Leading the current Standish Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at an easing price of $3, out from $2.90, is the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Medaglia D’Oro four-year-old Durendal.
The in-form gelding comes off back-to-back wins, his latest over the 1200m at Flemington on December 12.
Jockey Damian Lane retains the ride this long weekend and like the way the horse handled the Flemington straight last start ahead of his class rise in the Standish where Durendal is drawn barrier six and goes up a kilo to 55.5kg.
In an open market there are four other single figure hopes including the John O’Shea-trained Sarajevo ($6.50) coming off a second to Durendal at the track and distance.
Other top hopes according to the bookies include last start Doveton Stakes third placegetter Tried And Tired ($6.50) the 59kg top weight Churchill Dancer ($8.50) coming off a fourth to Friday’s favourite Durendal.
So can the top picks be first past the post or is there value tipping an upset Standish Handicap result this summer from the likes of Peter Moody’s nicely-drawn Doveton Stakes runner-up Office Bearer ($11) or market mover Lonrockstar ($13 into $12) who Glen Boss rides from barrier one?
#9 Sarajevo ($6.50)
Sarajevo meets his last start conqueror better in the weights with 54kg to Durendal’s 55.5kg and is also drawn a treat in barrier four. The booking of Craig Williams, who replaces Patrick Moloney in the saddle of the Goldolphin-raced Lonhro four-year-old, is also a plus and the horse should be ready to peak looking on the improve in his first three runs this time in.
#5 Durendal ($3)
No denying Durendal is in flying form and he is the deserving favourite to extend his winning streak to three on the trot. Has a good gate, Lane knows the galloper well and he still looks okay in the weights. Can he handle the class rise and hold off Sarajevo again?
#3 Tried And Tired ($6.50)
Classy Leon & Troy Corstens-trained six-year-old has a wide barrier 10 draw and 57kg on his back in the form of Mark Zahra, but still ticks plenty of boxes. He is second-up and has won two-from-four second-up so far, plus his record over the distance is also 50% (6-3-0-0). The Doveton Stakes third to Wild Rain when resuming was good, he’ll appreciate the extra metres here and drops three kilos off the 60kg he had that day at Sandown-Hillside.
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