Race 1 - 11:55AM TAB Highway Handicap Tips (1500m)
Back to 1400m and electing to take a trail, there were excuses for 5. RIBEAUVILLE last start, with the five-year-old in restricted room and held-up at key stages in the run home. Without the turn-of-foot to stop and then go again, he couldn't have done much more, while with galloping room from an outside draw, he's better suited here rolling along. Gun front-running hoop Tim Clark takes the reins.
A lightly raced three-year-old who has two of three attempts in her second prep, 19. Syrian Star has less convictions than most of her rivals and she comes from a very astute yard. Will she run out a strong 1500m?
I liked the trial of 14. Lumber Dream
, finishing third behind a handy Another One on Sept 17. Straight to 1500m is a plus and he's an each-way quote ($26.00 @ BetRight
We were with 4. Airliner on Sept 10, where he was initially out-sprinted before picking up again. The extra 100m suits.
Race 2 - 12:30PM Midway Handicap Tips (1300m)
Looking for five wins on the trot is the striking grey 2. OAKFIELD DUKE, who has remained undefeated following a third on debut, where only a lack of experience cost him. 1300m for the first time is a query, albeit Aaron Bullock was confident he'd run a strong seven furlongs after his last start Wyong win, where he was three-wide the trip. He keeps finding a way and deserves this Midway shot.
After a luckless return, 15. Kote redeemed himself in style with a big win at Canterbury and that maiden rated well for that midweek card. Obviously harder here, but he has upside and the talent to work through the grades.
Following a BM78 return in the worst going, 3. Mayrose was set a task from well back on Sept 10. Draws kinder here and any rain around won't hurt.
1. Cruel Summer bolted in on a Heavy 10 first-up in May and was narrowly defeated in both Midway runs that prep.
Race 3 - 1:05PM Cleanaway Handicap Tips (1900m)
After a strong fresh win and a good tick-over trial, 11. HAMERON did look hard to beat on Sept 10, but as was evident second and third-up last campaign, he again hit a big flat spot before picking up late. Given he's a one-paced, but strong staying type, Hameron was ridden too pretty in that last attempt. Down in the weights now, he should appreciate a return to a rain affected surface.
13. Main Stage
encountered some traffic second-up and although is up in class, he was a Gosford Cup fav in May following back-to-back wins on heavy ground. Tricky map from a wide barrier, but he's still over the odds ($41.00 @ Neds
While 6. Wicklow is getting close to his ceiling, this BM88 won't pull him up on class and he was five weeks between runs on Sept 3, so will strip fitter.
12. Quality Time has been a different horse since the blinkers were applied and he continues to improve with racing.
Race 4 - 1:40PM Furphy Colin Stephen Quality Tips (2400m)
Although he was handed the Tatts Cup on a platter, 1 CADRE DU NOIR still took full advantage last start with a monster win and that made it back-to-back 2400m triumphs. A stayer that has had his problems, the Maher & Eustace camp now have the seven-year-old and this Group 3 isn't any harder. Has another 4kg to carry, but is a proven weight carrier and clearly the one to beat here.
5. Herman Hesse is a stablemate to the fav, an Australian Bloodstock import that can be hit-or-miss, but was spruiked early and it's hard to fault his last start win over this track/trip. Carries 7kg less for this rise in grade.
Given 3. Grove Ferry has been one-paced over shorter trips, this 2400m attempt is a worth a try, although he's five weeks between runs with a trial.
After a failed summer prep, 7. Fun Fact is going better this time in. 1800m-2400m third-up, so he might be a run short.
Race 5 - 2:15PM City Tattersalls Group Handicap Tips (1400m)
Freshened-up and back to a more suitable distance, 13. PHILIPSBURG has each-way claims in a very open affair. An honest five-year-old who has been holding his form all year, the last start 2400m run was a shot at the stumps on a short turnaround. The start prior, he looked to have Wicklow on toast before peaking late on a wide run over 1800m. Handles all surfaces and is down in the weights.
I suspect 9. Sibaaq will be the best horse to come from this race, with the classy import open to plenty of improvement resuming in his second Australian campaign. There are other targets, but he returns off two trials.
Honest QLD visitor 2. Puntura was backed as if unbeatable in the Doomben Mile and had every chance in a narrow loss. Is he better suited over 1400m?
8. Arctic Thunder was scratched last Sat and had excuses second-up. That Old Flame/Purple Sector form reads okay.
Race 6 - 2:50PM Petaluma Heritage Stakes Tips (1100m)
Following somewhat of a disappointing return, 1. BEST OF BORDEAUX put in much improved showing second-up via the Run To The Rose. While In Secret always had the drop on him, the Coolmore colt rallied late for second and was the pick of the on-speed brigade. With a good platform, coming back to 1100m suits this speedster in what is an easier assignment. Should take plenty of catching.
Green and with little idea of what the caper was about, the well-bred 8. Hawaii Five Oh
still got the job done on debut and is open to natural improvement at start two. A very untapped filly and respecting her at a big price ($19.00 @ bet365
In a Highway after covering ground in the Silver Shadow, 9. Opal Ridge had to win fourth-up. although was made to work for it. Was that an end of prep run?
After contesting a hot McEwen Stakes, 3. Semillion will find this much easier, back to a three-year-old sprint that lacks depth.
Race 7 - 3:25PM Racing & Sports Golden Pendant Tips (1400m)
While she'll always need a bit of luck with her racing pattern, 2. STARTANTES should improve here second-up over 1400m. The Sheraco return over 1200m was definitely a pass mark, especially given she has no first-up form, with the Rob Heathcote four-year-old recording the fastest last 200m of that Sept 10 event. A lot will depend on the track pattern and we'll certainly know that come Race 7.
With a better draw, 1. Nimalee would be a clear fav, with this mare arriving off a third in the Tramway behind Zaaki and Icebath, which is superb form for a mare's race. Completed a tick-over trial and handles all conditions.
At long odds, we specked 17. Dalchini
in the Mona Lisa, a listed affair she's goes close to winning if drawn kinder. Happy to include her again at the price ($34.00 @ Palmerbet
Third-up and to 1400m with decent form around both runs this prep, 3. Jamaea is close to a peak, but doesn't want more rain.
Race 8 - 4:05PM Chandon Golden Rose Stakes Tips (1400m)
Godolphin have a good record in the Golden Rose and while it's one of the deeper editions that we've seen, 16. IN SECRET is ticking the most boxes. While her breeding suggests 1400m is a stretch, she gave no indication that an extra furlong would pull her up and she'll get a soft run again under J-Mac. Is still on an upwards spiral and has won on a Heavy 8, so should handle a wetter surface.
Completely unsuited settling back on a tough card to make ground, 15. She's Extreme arrived first-up off one very quiet trial. After a slick 12.18 split the 400m to 200m, condition gave out late and she'll come on from that outing.
Without being wound-up fresh, 14. Fireburn was fair on return and is still the proven class of the field. 1400m is a tick and any further rain is a big plus.
This has been the target for 6. Promitto
, who has been good through the line first and second-up. The pick of the roughies ($41.00 @ BetRight
Race 9 - 4:45PM Ned Whisky Shannon Stakes Tips (1500m)
The Theo Marks was a messy race for some, with 7. RUSTIC STEEL one of the unlucky runners from that 1300m contest. Settling back from a wide gate and riding for luck in the straight, the five-year-old saw nothing but backsides before getting up on the inside of Bigboyroy approaching the 100m, but it was too late. Stripping fitter second-up and from a good draw, I think he only runs well.
2. Ellsberg was another from the Theo Marks with excuses, with the entire kept in a pocket by Mr Mozart, which forced him on to the heels of Bigboyroy, so he had nowhere to go. His second-up record is the concern, however.
After being flushed out early, the return win of 11. Old Flame had more merit than the end margin reflects. A win here gets him into the Epsom next week.
13. War Eternal is well up in class, but profiles okay as a lightweight hope third-up, with group form as a three-year-old.
Race 10 - 5:25PM Irresistible Pools & Spas Handicap Tips (1100m)
The wide gate and the work he may have to do early is a concern, although 1. TRISTATE will go forward and now third-up off a long spell, he could be ready to spike with a drop back in grade to a BM78, where he gets good relief after the smart 3kg claim of Dylan Gibbons. With two third-place finishes to start the prep, he peaked in the last 50m on Sept 10, so there should be improvement.
From a Midway to a handy BM78, 8. Kipsbay faces a bigger challenge, although he couldn't be going any better for new trainer Nathan Doyle. After doing work to find the front, he still bolted in as a well backed fav last start.
As a three-time placegetter at stakes level as a three-year-old, you could mark 3. A Very Fine Red shorter in this grade. The last trial wasn't great, though.
4. Fire threw it away on Aug 27 and gets the winkers on after a little freshen-up. That was a very weak BM78, however.