John O’Shea’s former promising three-year-old Sarajevo has opened early favourite to break a year-long winning drought with success in Saturday’s Chester Manifold Stakes 2016 at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
The now four-year-old son of Lonhro hasn’t won since January of 2015 and is out to secure just this third win at start number 13 in the $120,000 Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) on the weekend.
Due to run as Flemington Race 7 at 4:06pm (AEST), this summer’s Chester Manifold Stakes field attracted just nine gallopers and Sarajevo is drawn the outside alley for jockey Craig Williams.
Despite a disappointing last start eighth behind Durendal in Flemington’s Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) on New Year’s Day, Sarajevo sits top of the Chester Manifold Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.70 for the win.
In a super tight Chester Manifold Stakes betting market there are four other single figure hopes including close second pick Zupacharged ($4).
Four runs into a consistent spring – summer campaign, this Ballarat-based Zupaone six-year-old prepared by Kylie Vella is in flying form and comes off a close second in the Standish.
Apprentice Harry Coffey retains the ride in barrier five on Saturday and will be working to get the galloper closer up on the speed so Zupacharged can close late and enjoy his first black-type win.
The third favourite and early Chester Manifold Stakes market mover at $5, in from $5.50, is the Leon & Troy Corstens-trained local Tried And Tired.
Ace Victorian hoop Mark Zahra retains the ride on the Niello six-year-old who comes off good lead-up form including the fourth in the Standish Handicap when beaten under a length.
He should be peaking three runs in now and even with 58.5kg from barrier eight, he has had the ideal preparation and with luck from gate eight he can win his fourth from 12 runs over the distance.
The last of the chances under $10 are co-$6.50 hopefuls Dances On Stars and Noela’s Choice who are at opposite end of the Chester Manifold Stakes weight scale carrying 59kg and 54kg respectively.
Sydney’s Gerald Ryan won the race 12 months ago with Red Excitement and shoots for successive victories this year saddling-up the top weight, Snitzel six-year-old Dances On Stars.
A $21 hope at Randwick on Boxing Day last start the gelding was a brave runner-up to Cradle Me in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) but is up in distance and rises from just 55.5kg that run.
Peter Moody’s five-year-old Sebring mare Noela’s Choice comes off a fifth in the Standish first-up and only needs to improve a touch to be closer in the finish here after jumping at $41 last time out.
The value punts in the market look to be the second Corstens-trained runner General Groove ($10) drawn nicely in barrier three and coming off a fifth in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield, and Doug Harrison’s four-year-old Strategic stallion Tudor ($15) one closer to the rails in two.
Check out the full Chester Manifold Stakes 2016 odds below then jump over to Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the race this Saturday!