Trainer Darren Weir will saddle two runners in the VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final (1600m), but rates talented galloper Kenjorwood as his best chance of success in the Listed race at Flemington.
Kenjorwood began his racing career under the guidance of Tasmanian trainer Darren Kenny in 2011; passing through the care of Peter Moody and one start for Ciaron Maher before arriving at Weir’s Wangoom stables prior to his current campaign.
Having charged home to win the Jim Conway Handicap (1600m) by close to two lengths on May 28th, the Snippetson gelding ran well for third in the talent-rich GJK Facility Cup (1600m) at Moonee Valley last time out on June 18th, and Weir is confident the horse will carry plenty of benefit into the 2016 Winter Championship Final.
“He’s been well and this is the race he’s been aimed towards since he got him,” Weir told Racing Ahead.
“He’s going to get there in the right sort of shape and will need some luck from the barrier, but he’s a pretty simple sort of horse to ride.
“We’ll roll forward and hopefully get him into a spot and he’s in the right shape, so hopefully he’s good enough.”
Kenjorwood returned to racing this year for fifth in the Ascot Racecourse Trophy (1400m) at Flemington on February 20th, and ended his time under Moody’s guidance a pleasing fourth in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m).
Having placed twelfth of fifteen in the Ladbrokes Odds Boost Handicap (1600m) in what was his only start for Maher on April 9th, Kenjorwood will carry 59.5kgs in the Winter Championship Final and will be partnered by in-form hoop Brad Rawiller.
Weir has also prepared Rugged Cross to appear in the VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final third-up, but believes the horse will be ‘topped up’ from the run.
“With the ground, the wetter the better for him and he’s getting pretty close to being competitive in something I think, but this may be a bit strong for him,” Weir said.
A British import, Rugged Cross has posted a career total of six wins and twelve minors through his thirty-four career starts.
Ladbrokes Australia currently rates Kenjorwood a $7.50 chance in Winter Championship Final betting markets, while Rugged Cross can be taken at a quote of $21.