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Bookies bank on competitive Ambrose return

Gordon Lomas

Thursday 27th November, 2014 - 4:00am

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Marcos Ambrose highly fancied to win his much anticipated return to V8 Supercars

Marcos Ambrose highly fancied to win his much anticipated return to V8 Supercars

Australia’s sports betting agencies are bracing themselves for the return of Marcos Ambrose by rating the former champion a serious winning threat at the Sydney NRMA 500.

Early betting markets for the opening leg of the Sydney event see Ambrose rated as short as a $9 chance to win.

Jamie Whincup, who claimed a record sixth Australian championship at Phillip Island, is unsurprisingly assessed as favourite at odds ranging between $3.50-$4 with various betting shops.

Ambrose today completes his preparation for his first V8 Supercars start in nine years with the second of a two fully fledged test days at Queensland Raceway.

The tests followed last week’s widely publicised ride day which revealed Xbox as the primary backer of his #66 DJR Ford entry along with a return of old major sponsor Pirtek.

“Punters obviously believe Marcos Ambrose can make an immediate impact in his return to the V8’s – more money has been placed on him than any other driver to win Race 1 of the NRMA 500 which is quite incredible,” said Sportsbet.com.au’s Christian Jantzen.

“We have Ambrose on the seventh line of betting at $11 but with the flood of money coming in, I think you’ll find him starting much shorter than that as we get closer to practice.

“DJR haven’t exactly been setting the world on fire but the class and experience of Ambrose shapes as a bit of a wildcard at the NRMA 500,” he added.

“There’s no doubt punters are getting behind Ambrose because of what he’s done in the past in the V8 Supercars.

“In reality it’ll be a tough ask for him to jump straight back into the DJR Falcon and match it with the likes of Whincup, Van Gisbergen and Lowndes.”

Despite the relatively short odds for Ambrose, the 2003 and 2004 V8 Supercars champion is taking a cautious approach to the event which made its way onto the calendar in 2009 when the Launceston native was in the middle of his NASCAR career.

“I’m just treating the Homebush weekend as a big test,” Ambrose told Speedcafe.com

“It’s a chance to do some starts, do some pit stops, race against the guys and seeing what it’s all about.

“We are not necessarily going there to win. We are going there to log laps.”

Sportsbet prices for Race 1 at the Sydney NRMA 500

Jamie Whincup

4.00

Shane Van Gisbergen

6.00

Craig Lowndes

7.00

Garth Tander

7.50

Scott McLaughlin

8.00

Mark Winterbottom

9.00

Marcos Ambrose

11.00

James Courtney

13.00

Fabian Coulthard

21.00

Jason Bright

26.00

Chaz Mostert

26.00

David Reynolds

31.00

Michael Caruso

76.00

Nick Percat

76.00

Rick Kelly

101.00

James Moffat

101.00

Tim Slade

101.00

Will Davison

126.00

Todd Kelly

151.00

Dale Wood

501.00

David Wall

501.00

Russell Ingall

501.00

Scott Pye

501.00

Robert Dahlgren

501.00

Lee Holdsworth

501.00

Jack Perkins

501.00

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