Deane Lester has Hellbent on top of his 2017 Oakleigh Plate tips and he believes that the talented sprinter is excellent value in the Group 1 event at Caulfield this afternoon.
Hellbent returned to the races with a close third behind Tivaci in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on January 28 and he missed the placings when fourth in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago, but Lester told RSN that the I Am Invincible entire is ready to peak third-up in the Oakleigh Plate.
“Darren Weir has openly said at the start of the preparation that this is the race he has set the horse for.
“He looked too big at Flemington first-up and he ran a good race last start.
“He will be absolutely spot-on on the day and that is what we have learnt about Darren Weir.
“As much as he trains a volume of winners, he does train them to win on the right day.
“Hellbent might have his day.”
Extreme Choice is currently on top of the 2017 Oakleigh Plate betting market with Ladbrokes, bur Lester said that he can’t get the star colt anywhere near as short as his current quote.
The son of Not A Single Doubt beat the older horses to take out the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley in the spring, but Lester believes that the three-year-old faces a tougher assignment in the Oakleigh Plate.
“Extreme Choice is the one that it is hard to get a handle on and there is no way I could back him at around the $3.90 mark.
“He is a very good three-year-old, but he will need to be with these tougher older horses coming at him late.”
Extreme Choice is currently available at 2017 Oakleigh Plate odds of $4.20 with Ladbrokes and he is a clear favourite from the well-backed Hellbent ($5.50), Myer Classic winner I Am A Star ($7.50), the consistent Fell Swoop ($8) and Lindsay Park-trained Sheidel ($9).