This is a good and competitive Highway, which the market reflects. I have plenty of time for 18. THE DRAMATIST, a five-year-old that did so much on raw ability in his second prep and there were excuses in all defeats. His two victories were arrogant, including a Class 1 win on Tamworth Cup Day when defying an inside bias. 1200m is on the short side, but he has class and a drying track suits.
Likely to contest the early lead is the Mitch Beer-trained 16. Flying Sultan, who recorded back-to-back wins in autumn before a look up the Flemington straight. He's always taken a run to hit his straps, so first-up the query.
has been midfield via two metro BM72 attempts either side of a third in a handy Wyong Class 1. Is a big price ($23.00 @ bet365
) back to a Highway.
Swap runs with the winner and 14. Aytobe would've saluted second-up. Carries 2.5kg less and maps well from gate six.
Race 2 - 12:45PM The Agency Real Estate Handicap Tips (1200m)
Tricky fillies and mares sprint, where two Godolphin three-year-old's head the market down in the weights. With 7kg less second-up and with perhaps more upside than the stablemate, we'll lean the way of 11. PLYMSTOCK. She was back and covering ground in a leader's affair fresh, but made ground against the pattern for third and draws low here. That winner finished fourth last Sat at listed level.
The poor second-up record for 11. Fumiko is the knock, although she's still very lightly raced and firm ground is the key to her. Admittedly she had no weight first-up, but that Eagle Farm victory still rated well for the class.
8. Ten Bells got a much-deserved city win third-up from a long spell and gave 5kg to the runner-up, who won a week later. She's more suited on firmer ground.
12. Va Via comes out of a good midweek race, with Audette franking that form on Wed. She's had a few chances, though.
Race 3 - 1:20PM Furphy Handicap Tips (1500m)
While he wouldn't have beaten Vilana irrespective, had they opted for a circling run with earlier momentum rather than riding for luck, it's likely that 4. WATERFORD finishes third or fourth in that Silver Eagle, where he wasn't suited back to 1300m. That was his first Australian defeat and he was freshened-up after a pair of wins over this track/trip. If the track is fair, then he should bounce back.
5. Rangi Toa brings fresh legs, an ex-Kiwi who carried 61kg in a brave stable debut win for Waterhouse & Bott yard. Lacks a turn-of-foot, but will roll forward under Clark and if there's on-speed bias, he's the one to catch.
Circling an entire field at Canterbury is tough and 1. Loch Eagle did that first-up. Was disappointing in the Silver Eagle and all wins have come on wet tracks.
2. Maurice's Medad sustained a strong run first-up, which may have flattened him last start. Can improve on dry ground.
Race 4 - 2:00PM Precise Air Handicap Tips (1900m)
At an each-way price third-up, 3. GIN MARTINI finds a more winnable assignment, with the John Sargent-trained mare all the way back to a BM78 after two group attempts to start the spring. Her last start effort was okay, where she loomed from a stalking position, but just lacked the brilliance at that level over a mile. Strips fitter, 1800m is a tick and gets in well after the 3kg claim of Ellen Hennessy.
Her stablemate 10. Pink Ivory should be fav, having won a similar affair second-up, a race she wins by much further had she drawn a gate. On a Heavy 10 leader's paradise on Oct 8, we have to forgive the last start failure.
9. Karmazone landed the cash for us at Warwick Farm last start, which was a soft win in the end. This gelding is in a really good space currently, but this is harder.
5. Hameron comes back from a Metrop tilt and gets the blinkers on for this drop in grade. He wants a hard run 1900m.
Race 5 - 2:40PM New TAB App Handicap Tips (1100m)
On a Heavy 8 and jumping from a wide gate on return - which was pushed back a week, 9. MARS MISSION was a big drifter in his first-up Warwick Farm appearance, but he lost no admirers in third. While struggling to pick-up when the sprint went on, he stuck to the task, albeit never really balanced up. With a suck run just off a strong speed and on better ground, he has a platform to win second-up.
I've always had time for 3. Delexo, a big and speedy son of Exosphere who wasn't suited early last campaign on wet tracks, before a big peak third-up when finding a Good 4. Still has upside and has trialled well ahead of this.
Ex-Adelaide and Hong Kong sprinter 1. Classy Jaybee was an impressive first-up winner for the new yard and has been kept fresh. He'll do no work from gate one.
Have to forgive the Heavy 10 flop of 12. Blitzar fresh. This galloper that has a slick turn-of-foot when conditions suit.
Race 6 - 3:20PM Rosehill Gold Cup Tips (2000m)
A Waller/Imports/Plodder's affair and there's next to no interest from a betting perspective. One of two imports on Australian debut here is 10. STAR OF INDIA, who is now under the care of Annabel Neasham. A son of Galileo that's won two of five, he was a listed 10-furlong winner ahead of a failed Epsom Derby tilt, but bounced back with a solid chasing effort in Sept over 2000m. Watch the betting.
8. Quality Time has improved out of sight since the blinkers were applied, winning his last three. No knocks if you like him, but I've seen too many random stablemates spoil this party before and there's five of them in this.
The second import debuting in Australia is the very consistent 7. Bois D'Argent, a listed winning grey who hasn't been out of the money in 12 career starts.
Set to run in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday is last start St Leger winner 1. Stockman, who is an interesting acceptor here.
Race 7 - 4:00PM Nature Strip Stakes Tips (1300m)
Hindsight is bliss, but given how The Everest played out with Nature Strip covering ground, I strongly suspect 7. LOST AND RUNNING would've won that, but he was scratched race day eve with lameness. Obviously, there's risk attached with a setback and missed run, however he's completed a solid trial and was flying prior to that. With a gun run under Bowman, he can claim the consolation prize.
Grabbed late in The Everest was 2. Private Eye, who is now proving his sprinting credentials at the top level, although you could put him in anything and he'd run well. He's not as suited at Rosehill, but still a main chance.
3. Mazu has improved with every run this prep and his Everest performance supports the extra 100m here. Just not sure he's as effective on firmer ground.
If hunting a roughie ($61.00 @ GetSetBet
) for exotics, then 9. Brutality
is an option. Might want something a little easier, but he's flying.
Race 8 - 4:45PM XXXX Golden Eagle Tips (1500m)
One that hasn't been knocked around by a big spring is 17. GYPSY GODDESS, with the Qld Oaks winner on a hit-and-run mission in The Golden Eagle. The blinkers go on the daughter of Tarzino and after a campaign of bad barriers, she now finally draws well for Pike. David Vandyke has an excellent first-up strike rate and his stable star would've dominated the fillies in autumn on firmer ground.
After a fighting resumption, 6. Mr Mozart was five weeks between runs into the Silver Eagle, where he was clearly a run short and brought no second-up form. Set to peak here by Team Hawkes, but has drawn terribly.
10. Pinstriped seems the forgotten runner, with the Victorian going a little better than I Wish I Win in the Toorak. Has a sniff here if they can swoop out wider.
The international form around 12. Light Infantry is strong, but I can't take a single figure quote about anything here.
Race 9 - 5:20PM Four Pillars Midway Tips (1500m)
500k for what's effectively a run-of-the-mill Midway....great cash for this level. Kept coming back to 10. KAYOBI, as there are lot of exposed rivals at their ceiling, whereas he appears the most progressive in this and despite having just five starts, he's a proven weight carrier, which is another tick on this scale. His last prep form through Navajo Peak keeps stacking up and the return win was strong.
The proven class is clearly 1. Mahagoni, who saluted as our best bet last Sat and now goes up a whopping 7.5kg for this easier affair. He'll at least get to BM88 level in time, so ability should take him a long way against this lot.
12. Danish Prince has handy enough form, including a last start second to Pizarro, who won a BM78 two starts later. Has had three trials ahead of this return.
7. Oakfield Arrow is a hit-or-miss on-speed mare, but capable when right and her last victory was off a similar gap.
Race 10 - 6:00PM Ned Australian Whisky Handicap Tips (1300m)
Off an eye-catching return in this grade, it was no surprise to see big prices taken in the Kosciuszko for 2. SPIRANAC, who performed quite well in that country feature, but on a Soft 7 and after getting a little too far back, it wasn't an optimal set-up for the Rodney Northam mare. A drier track third-up is a big tick, 1300m is her pet trip and with even luck from barrier one, she's right in this.
Now third-up and drawing well, it's close to D-Day for 6. I Am Lethal, a talented sprinter who was gelded ahead of this campaign. Didn't relish a Soft 7 first-up and from a wide gate, spotted them too big a start in Brisbane.
5. Democracy Manifest was a little disappointing second-up as an odds-on fav, where he didn't seem to run out a strong seven furlongs. Back to 1300m suits.
9. Stromboli has won two of three starts this campaign and now steps to Saturday grade. The extra 100m is a query.