Even though Sarajevo has drifted slightly in the early market moves, the John O’Shea trained four year old remains the favourite for the Listed $120,000 Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Sarajevo was installed the $3.70 top pick at Ladbrokes.com.au when the final field was released on Wednesday and after firming to $3.50, has drifted out to $3.90 to still be at the top of the market order.
Ballarat trained Zupacharged is on the second line of betting at $4 while the Leon and Troy Corstens trained Tried And Tired has come in for some early support, firming in from $5.50 to be the third pick at $4.60.
O’Shea considered Sarajevo to have been a bit unlucky at his latest outing when eighth to Durendal in the Group 3 $150,000 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day and isn’t concerned about the four year old drawing the outside barrier in the nine horse field.
“He was probably a little bit unlucky,” O’Shea told Racing.com.
“He’s better drawn for him on Saturday in barrier nine, he doesn’t like to be cluttered up.”
“If they can win coming down the outside well he’ll be some chance, he’s probably a better chance this week than he was in the Standish.”
Second favourite Zupacharged deserved to be in the market after two consistent efforts at his last two starts at Flemington.
The Kylie Vella trained six year old made up ground from the back when third to Durendal and Sarajevo in a 1200m Handicap on December 12 and then ran home strongly again to finish second to Durendal in the Standish Handicap.
Vella has used her Linton property, near Ballarat, to help calm down Zupacharged nervous behaviour and she is seeing the six year old racing in career best form.
“There’s always something different going on,” Vella says.
“We’ve actually got sheep out on the track at the moment eating stubble from a crop of beans, so that’s pretty interesting, you know, stopping for a sheep that’s asleep on the track.
“The horses get used to it, they are not bothered by random stuff.”
“If he runs like his previous two starts, I can’t see why he can’t. We’re stepping him up to 1400m this week, but he’s won over 1400m before.”
Tried And Tired is also fitter for two runs back from a spell and gets his chance to figure in the major portion of the prizemoney.
Tried And Tired recorded a first up third with Steven King in saddle in the Listed $120,000 Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on December 5 followed by a fourth in the Standish Handicap with this week’s jockey Mark Zahra aboard.
Chester Manifold Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.90 Sarajevo, $4 Zupacharged, $4.60 Tried And Tired, $7 Noela’s Choice, Dances On Stars, $9 General Groove, $17 Tudor, $31 Decircles, $61 Kareeming.