Westlink firmed into a $51 chance for the Country Championships Final on Sunday afternoon but the series favourite became even more popular after a dominant Sydney win.
Noble Boy, the Queanbeyan-trained gelding which opened a $4.50 hope for the final when the market was released last week, took out Saturday’s Highway Handicap at Warwick Farm.
The result made it four wins from as many starts and by Monday afternoon Noble Boy had tightened into a $4 chance for the $500,000 Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick on April 6.
Before that though, the Tood Blowes-trained Noble Boy must get through the South East Racing Association (SERA) heat at Goulburn on March 2.
Judging by Saturday’s run that should not be a problem with Hugh Bowman bringing the $2.10 favourite down the middle of the track to beat Acquittal ($9) by two lengths at Warwick Farm.
After wins at Albury and Goulburn, Noble Boy won a 1200m-Highway race at Rosehill on December 1.
"He was the class horse of the field and is certainly a very exciting horse at this level and I would say there's more in store for him at a higher level," Bowman said on Saturday.
"He put them away very easily and I feel he had more in the tank."
The Darren Hyde-trained Westlink was named a $51 chance after his win at Dubbo on Sunday while runner-up and fellow qualifier Sons Of Bourke opened up at $201 for trainer Clint Lundholm.
Interestingly, Healing Hands also came into a $51 hope on Sunday.
Trained by Gayna Williams at Mudgee, Healing Hands only had one career win prior to the meeting at Dubbo.
But a tremendous performance and victory in the Dubbo RSL Club Class 1 Showcase Handicap (1400m) vaulted the four-year-old gelding into the public eye.
Williams now possesses two of the leading hopes for next month’s Central Districts heat at Mudgee, with I Am A Cool Kid second on the line of betting at $6 behind Noble Boy in the final market.
I Am A Cool Kid has been nominated by Williams to race in the Canterbury Night Sprint Series Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m) on Friday night.