The Lindsay Park trained Viking Warrior can fight his way up the betting order for the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 23 if he can keep his unbeaten record intact at Flemington on Saturday.
Viking Warrior debuted for the Lindsay park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig with a three and a quarter lengths win in a 1112m Geelong Maiden on Boxing Day and has been installed as the $2 favourite for the $125,000 VRC Member Duane Rogers 2yo Plate (1200m) down the Flemington straight.
Early betting for the 2019 Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Viking Warrior marked at $17 behind the $4 favourite Brooklyn Hustler but a win on Saturday could see his price firm up several points.
Mark Zahra takes over the reins from Cory Parsh on Viking Warrior who will jump from gate three in the six horse field.
Co-trainer Ben Hayes has reported that Viking Warrior has come through his Geelong Maiden win in great shape and is looking forward to seeing the Fastnet Rock claim another win and put himself into contention for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.
“He’s really come through nicely, he’s eaten up, he’s doing everything right and he looks like he’s trained on,” Hayes told racing.com.
“He’s done everything right to date, all we can ask is for him to keep improving going through the grades and he’ll tell us what time.
“But at home he has good ability and it’s just I suppose the first time down the straight, that’s probably the only question mark.
“His work at the farm has been excellent and first time down the straight you never know but I suggest he’s come on and will run well.”
“At this stage he’s definitely up there in the nicer bunch of two-year-olds we have, if he wins we’ll definitely be targeting the big races with him.”
Sharing the second line of betting at $5 for Saturday’s 2yo Plate is the Darren Weir trained Maozi and Tony McEvoy’s colt Game Keeper.
Maozi chased home Viking Warrior at Geelong before breaking his maiden status at the same track on January 10 with Game Keeper finishing in fourth spot, just over a length behind the winner.