Godolphin head trainer John O’Shea is confident the outside alley won’t stop race favourite Sarajevo saluting for the punters at Flemington Racecourse this weekend in the 2016 Chester Manifold Stakes.
The sole black-type on the summer card in Melbourne this weekend, the $120,000 Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) attracted a final field of just nine gallopers.
Due to jump from the widest alley in Flemington Race 7 at 4:06pm (AEST) on Saturday is O’Shea’s Lonhro four-year-old Sarajevo who sits top of the Chester Manifold Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the race.
Paying $3.90 for the win, the gelding is out to atone for a last start eighth when beaten two and a quarter lengths by Durendal in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at the track on New Year’s Day.
That was his third run at Flemington where he is yet to post a win, something the bookies and O’Shea are confident will change come Saturday afternoon.
A winner of two of his 12 starts to date, Sarajevo hasn’t won since January last year and if successful in the Chester Manifold Stakes he will break his black-type maiden.
Craig Williams, aboard the galloper in the Standish, retains the ride this weekend and from the outside alley has every chance to keep the horse out of trouble according to O’Shea.
“He was probably a little bit unlucky,” O’Shea told Racing Victoria speaking of Sarajevo’s Standish Handicap run from barrier four of 12.
“He’s better drawn for him on Saturday in barrier nine, he doesn’t like to be cluttered up.
“If they can win coming down the outside well he’ll be some chance, he’s probably a better chance this week than he was in the Standish.”
The next best in the Chester Manifold Stakes betting markets is straight track specialist Zupacharged ($4) who is in flying form for Ballarat trainer Kylie Vella and apprentice hoop Harry Coffey.
The six-year-old son of Zupaone was beaten three quarters of a length when runner-up in the Standish Handicap, which was his maiden stakes assignment.
Other notable Chester Manifold Stakes hopes this summer include the market mover Tried And Tired ($4.60) coming off a Standish fourth, Gerald Ryan’s 59kg top weight Dances Of Stars ($7) who is a stablemate to last year’s winner Red Excitement and Noela’s Choice ($7) for Peter Moody.
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