Despite sharing the same Royal Randwick race card with four major Group 1 races in week 1 of The Championships, the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) is shaping as one of the most well contested events of the day; offering punters great value in betting markets.
Having returned to the track in strong form this season, talented six-year-old Sertorius has opened and maintained favouritism in betting markets for the 2014 Chairman’s Handicap; currently offered at generous $3.30 odds.
Finishing worse than second just once over an impressive six race spring preparation in 2013 which included a two length victory over fellow Chairman’s Handicap accepter Epingle in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m), Sertorius has returned to racing in typically impressive form this season.
Unlucky to finish second to Moment Of Change in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) first-up on February 22nd, the Galileo gelding produced a strong turn of foot to finished third in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) before finishing a competitive fifth in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on March 22nd.
Overcoming interference at the start to finish fourth in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) last weekend, Sertorius arguably leads the final field for the 2014 Chairman’s Handicap, and will be particularly difficult to beat this weekend.
Currently occupying the second line of betting, just off the pace of Sertorius at $3.40 odds, The Offer will carry winning form into the 2014 Chairman’s Handicap, and was arguably the biggest winner at Wednesday’s barrier draw having received the ideal inside alley.
Steadily building to the task over three race starts this preparation, The Offer finished a disappointing sixth in the Australian Turf Club Maiden (1400m) first-up, however quickly recovered in finishing third in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) and strolling home to win the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) by nearly four lengths on March 29th.
Saddled by trainer Gai Waterhouse locally at her Randwick stables, The Offer will be partnered by regular jockey Tommy Berry this weekend.
Having returned to the track in arguably career best form this season, Opinion offers punters sensational value for money for success in the 2014 Chairman’s Handicap at $5 odds, or an even $2 for a place.
Finishing sixth in the TAB Rewards Maiden (1400m) first-up on February 15th, the Oasis Dream gelding quickly sprung to life with an impressive win over Her Majesty The Queen-owned Carlton House in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) and backing up with two unlucky runs for second in the Randwick City Stakes and NE Manion Cup most recently.
Drawing barrier 2 for this weekend’s Chairman’s Handicap, Opinion is likely to receive the run of the race; offered the opportunity to shadow the early pace of fellow leader The Offer.
Interesting figuring as the only other running offered at odds of less-than $10, Epingle has secured an impressive run of form in recent races, claiming both the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) and Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) before returning to the mainland and finishing a strong third in the Group 3 Percy Sykes Tribute Stakes (1900m) last time out.
Confirmed to be partnered by leading jockey Craig Williams, Epingle is well and truly worth a wager for a place; boasting $2.55 odds ($8.50) for a win.
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