Fifteen horses remain in contention for the featured VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday and the depth of talent confirmed has ensured that it is a particularly open race from a betting perspective.
Tshahitsi opened an outright $6 favourite in Winter Championship Final betting markets, but is yet to herald much interest and is now tied on the top line with the Chris Waller-trained Amovatio.
Tshahitsi posted consecutive wins in the Echuca Cup (1400m) and the Rod Johnson Handicap (1400m), but was comfortably beaten by Cannyescent in the Brian Beattie Handicap (1400m) at Flemington a fortnight ago.
The Clangalang gelding may need to expel plenty of energy early to not get lost from barrier 15 and faces a big task in this talented Winter Championship Final field.
Veteran Amovatio has won at the class and distance of this race previously and while yet to find peak condition this time in, should be rock-hard fit leading into the Winter Championship Final after three runs.
Sixth in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) first-up on May 12th, the Al Maher gelding ran on well for fifth in the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m), but was completely luckless upon returning to Victoria for tenth in the Travis Harrison Cup (1600m) on June 17th.
Charged with carrying a 60kgs topweight, Amovatio’s class is sure to count for a lot in this Winter Championship Final field and he has the notable advantage of champion hoop Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Interestingly, only three others runners; Rhythm To Spare ($8), Sovereign Nation ($9.50) and Coldstone ($9.50) are currently available at Winter Championship Final odds of less than $10.
Rhythm To Spare savaged the line to finish third behind Burning Front and Hooked in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) on May 20th, but was another runner who could only manage a mid-pack finish upon returning to Victoria in the Travis Harrison Cup.
Sovereign Nation will return to his ideal conditions for the first time this season in the Winter Championship Final and should prove tough to beat.
The Encosta De Lago gelding beat a classy field to the line in the Lloyd Williams Hall Of Fame Trophy (1400m) on May 20th, before running on from the rear of the field with no luck for fifth in the Rod Johnson Handicap last time out.
Coldstone carries winning form into the Winter Championship Final following a gutsy performance in the Sheen Group Plate (1600m) at Caulfield last weekend and should only improve from the run.
Petrology ($14), Count Da Vinci ($12) and Strike Force ($11) all remain prominent in the Winter Championship Final betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au.