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The Darren Weir trained Night’s Watch has been installed as the early favourite for the 2018 Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Night’s Watch has worked his way up through the grades and will be tackling weight for age company for the first time after claiming his seventh win from fifteen starts with a last start victory in a 1400m Handicap at Caulfield on last Saturday.
Night’s Watch was one of Weir’s winners last Saturday on a memorable day for the master trainer who won five of the nine races on the Memsie Stakes program with six of his horses after the judge couldn’t split the stablemates Mrs Gardenia and Bellaria in the hockingstuart Handicap (1400m).
Weir also saddled up Humidor to take out the feature race on the program, the Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m).
Ladbrokes.com.au have Night’s Watch as the $3.50 favourite for the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes while Weir will also saddle up the $101 outsider Red Cardinal.
John Allen rides Night’s Watch who has drawn barrier five in the eleven horse Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes while Red Cardinal will jump from gate four with Harry Coffey in the saddle.
On the second line of betting at $3.70 is the multiple Group 1 winner Hartnell who has drawn awkwardly at barrier nine with Craig Williams taking the ride again.
The James Cummings trained veteran looks to have plenty life left in his legs and resumed from a spell with an excellent first up second to Showtime in the Group 2 $200,000 Sir John Monash P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 18.
“I think Hartnell just wants to be kept a little more on the fresh side and kept to being a sprinter-miler. I think he’s going to reward us that way,” Cummings said.
“It gives me the opportunity to do a little less with him too which is suitable to him now.”
Last year’s winner Bonneval is on the third line of betting at $7 and the Group 1 winning Kiwi mare has drawn worse than midfield at barrier eight with Regan Bayliss booked to ride.
Mick Price’s mare Hiyaam at $8.50 and the Anthony Freedman trained Ambitious at $9 are the only other runners under the $10 mark.
Ambitious has drawn in close at barrier two with Mark Zahra in the saddle while Hiyaam has drawn out wide at ten for Michael Dee.
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