Specialist Miler Plein Ciel gets his chance to claim a fifth win over the 1600m course when he lines up in the Listed $128,000 Seppelt Wines VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington on Saturday.
Plein Ciel is a four times winner over 1600m which includes a last start dead heat with Saturday’s opponent Shot Of Irish in the $100,000 Keogh Homes Travis Harrison Cup at The Valley on June 13.
The seven year old German import has raced four times at Flemington for two placings but trainer Danny O‘Brien is keen to see the gelding stretch out in the wide open spaces at Headquarters.
“He dead-heated the other day and I don’t think Moonee Valley is as suitable a track for him as Flemington,” O’Brien told AAP.
“So I’m happy to get him back to Flemington, albeit I think it is a very strong race.
“It’s a really good edition of the Winter Championship Final and he’ll need to run well to win it.
“Staying at a mile is ideal for him and he’s going as well or better than he was going into Moonee Valley.”
“We’ve been thrilled with him.”
Billy Egan has ridden Plein Ciel at his two runs this preparation, including last start when he had to share the spoils with Shot Of Irish at The Valley, and will be in the saddle again.
Plein Ciel has drawn barrier eight in the original draw, with one of the three emergencies drawing inside of him, and he has been installed as the $4.60 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Winter Championship Series Final.
The Richard Laming trained Shot Of Irish and the in-form Heptagon share the second line of betting at $5.50 while Damien Oliver’s mount Never Again is the only other runner under the $10 mark at $9.50.
The Mick Price and Michael Kent (Jnr) trained Heptagon is chasing his fourth win on the trot after wins at Caulfield, Swan Hill and a last start win in the $100,000 Brian Beattie Handicap (1420m) at Flemington on June 20.
Dean Yendall has ridden Heptagon in his last two wins and gets the mount again this week and the six year old will jump from barrier six if all three emergencies fail to gain a start.