Winners of four of the nine heats feature among the nominations for the Winter Championship Series Final, including the Grahame Begg-trained Romancer who has earned his shot at the Listed race with his last-start win at Flemington.
The $160,000 VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final (1600m) is one of the features on Saturday and the 25 nominations include promising import Mr Marathon Man, Romancer, Spanner Head and Tan Tat Trusting who have all won one of the nine heats during the series.
The Tony McEvoy-trained Tan Tat Trusting also holds an entry for the VRC-CRV Cup Tour Trophy over 2000m on Saturday’s program.
Begg said Romancer was entitled to take his chance in Saturday’s race having earned a ballot exemption when he defeated Blazejowski on a soft track over 1400m at Flemington last Saturday week.
That was five-year-old gelding Romancer’s second start of his preparation and second start since joining Begg’s stable.
“He hasn’t disappointed me the whole time he’s been with me,” Begg said.
“I thought he ran quite well first-up at Caulfield and obviously he won second-up for us.
“I think he’s quite a useful horse and he’s probably in his right grade at this time of year because you’ve got to take advantages of horses who can handle soft ground.
“His rating is still low enough to get him into a race like this on the lighter side.”
The Mike Moroney-trained Mr Marathon Man, who won at Sandown last start, heads the weights with 60kg while Romancer gets in on the limit weight of 54kg.
Romancer’s Flemington win came on a soft (7) rated track and Begg believes his best chance of success on Saturday is if he happened to strike similar conditions.
Dean Yendall has been booked for the ride on Romancer, who has won six of his 26 career starts.
“We’ve given him a pretty easy time since his last run,” Begg said.
“He will gallop this week, probably on Wednesday, but we’re very happy with him.”
Last year’s winner Magic Consol is among the nominations with 59.5kg while the 2017 winner Tshahitsi heads the weights for Saturday’s Victorian Sprint Series Final with 60kg.