The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
Finals Day at Flemington takes place on Saturday with one of the meeting’s most anticipated events being the 2020 VRC Winter Championship Series Final where a trio of horses are battling for top spot in the markets.
Set to run as Race 8 as the penultimate event on the card, this season’s Listed $128,000 Seppelt Wines VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) features a capacity field of 16 plus three emergencies.
Current narrow favourite sitting top of the VRC Winter Championship Series Final odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Danny O’Brien-trained Plein Ciel who has been heavily backed in early from $7.50 to $4.60.
Billy Egan rides the German-bred Mamool gelding raced by Australian Bloodstock for the third time this campaign.
Two back the duo ran a first-up third over 1400m at Flemington before Plein Ciel enjoyed his first win since the Group 3 Easter Cup at Caulfield in April last year when saluting over the mile at The Valley on June 13 in a dead-heat.
He races over the same distance at HQ on the weekend, but will need to be at his best going up to 59kg.
Two horses follow in betting as the dangers at an equal quote of $5.50 with Heptagon chasing a third win on the trot and the also in-form Shot Of Irish.
Prepared by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr, Jimmy Choux six-year-old Heptagon has Dean Yendall in the saddle on Saturday carrying a hefty 61kg.
The galloper comes off a trio of winter lead-up wins including a three-length romp home in the Swan Hill Cup (1600m) on June 7 and a last start 1420m handicap win at Flemington carrying 61.5kg.
He comes back a half-kilo on the weekend and should appreciate getting back up to a mile with a likely off the pace run from his midfield barrier.
The Richard Laming-trained Shot Of Irish comes into the Winter Championship Series Final having won three of his past four starts, the consistent son of Canford Cliffs having just his second run at Flemington on Saturday.
He was runner-up at the track and distance two back behind fellow Finals Series hopeful Reykjavik back on May 23 before dead-heating for first with Saturday’s favourite Plein Ciel at The Valley in the Travis Harrison Cup.
The other best fancied in the markets include the Clinton McDonald-trained Never Again ($9.50), first emergency Noble Boy ($10) coming off a very strong form race at Rosehill from June 13 and Vassilator ($10).
Caulfield’s Colin Little saddles-up Zacinto four-year-old Vassilator in the event with the chestnut after his fourth win at Flemington from 10 starts.
Yet to win over further than 1400m, the galloper was sixth to Heptagon last time out carrying 59.5kg and comes back in weight (57kg) for the rematch.
2020 VRC Winter Championship Series Final Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||8x710x3815||REYKJAVIK||Lindsey Smith||Michael Rodd||18||62kg||104|
|2||24236×5111||HEPTAGON (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Dean Yendall||7||61kg||102|
|3||4980x600x5||MOSS ’N’ DALE (NZ)||Peter Gelagotis||Anthony Darmanin||5||59.5kg||99|
|4||12x940880x||GREY LION (IRE)||Matthew Smith||John Allen||17||59kg||98|
|5||0x46570x31||PLEIN CIEL (GER)||Danny O’Brien||Billy Egan||8||59kg||98|
|6||x81242x177||A SHIN ROOK (JPN)||Anthony Freedman||Jye McNeil||2||58.5kg||97|
|7||0708×60040||MR MARATHON MAN (GB)||Michael Moroney||Jamie Mott||14||57kg||94|
|8||132×651121||SHOT OF IRISH||Richard Laming||Michael Walker||9||57kg||94|
|9||3675×29416||VASSILATOR (NZ)||Colin Little||Craig Williams||6||57kg||94|
|10||421323×030||ROMANCER (NZ)||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||12||56.5kg||93|
|11||06×6535022||SIRCCONI||Nick Ryan||Daniel Stackhouse||16||56kg||92|
|12||0535×83166||CHAPEL CITY||Gordon Richards||Jamie Kah||13||56kg||88|
|13||090197×797||SAVVY OAK (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Michael Dee||19||56kg||87|
|14||970406×850||SAFIN||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Luke Nolen||1||56kg||82|
|15||17724×6034||NEVER AGAIN||Clinton McDonald||Damien Oliver||4||56kg||80|
|16||x08x411x13||VICTORIA STAR (NZ)||Greg Eurell||Damien Thornton||15||56kg||77|
|17e||x44300x663||NOBLE BOY||Clare Cunningham||Luke Nolen||11||56kg||90|
|18e||x5205x7921||HOLBIEN||Steve Richards||Lachlan King (a)||3||56kg||88|
|19e||1113x652x0||POLLY GREY (NZ)||Chris Waller||Damien Thornton||10||56kg||88|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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