Race 1 - 11:15AM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 3 HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
3. PHILIPSBURG was one we were with first-up at a good price and he looked the winner approaching the 100m, but simply just didn't have the turn-of-foot to match Sunrise Ruby at 1200m. Up to 1400m is a big tick, a trip that netted three wins in a good first preparation and he's rather bombproof, with the ability to settle on the speed and absorb either a fast or slow tempo.
9. Commando Hunt was luckless in that same July 31 event when crowded/held-up until the 150m before getting home strongly. He can improve second-up and has been very competitive in all three Highway attempts to date.
11. Danzadel has the same form as the above two, a mare that was caught wide in that aforementioned Highway and has another run under her belt, having placed behind Mr Hussill first-up. She's very consistent and the step to 1400m now is a big plus.
1. Wichita Warrior
performed about as well as any of these would behind Nicci's Song over 1000m fresh, a trip that is much too short, but is better suited here second-up. He goes in at a price ($16.00 @ TopSport
) for the exotic players.
Race 2 - 11:50AM RANVET HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
2. ALL TIME LEGEND certainly had his chance if good enough fresh, although he can clearly improve and with Chat running a nice second in the Missile Stakes, the form has stacked up. With an impressive record that should be even better, the set-up looks much more suitable here with a bunny to follow via Big Parade and if there's loftier Spring goals, this is a race he should be winning.
1. Big Parade is brilliant when he's on, a speedy and lightly raced son of Deep Field, but he can turn it up, as was evident here in the spring when flopping at a short price. Bolted in via his latest trial, but does he want it wetter?
3. Mamaragan arguably should've won the Sires' Produce, which followed a third in the Golden Slipper and he never delivered on that potential in the spring. Now a gelding and was pushed out to win a Randwick trial on August 6. Watch the betting.
4. Zakat may not have the class of the above three, but she's consistently thereabouts and with a soft run in transit, can produce late. She has a good fresh record and is rarely far away.
Race 3 - 12:25PM DRINKWISE PREMIER'S CUP PRELUDE Tips (2000 METRES)
3. ZIEGFELD is a Godolphin import that produced his best Australian run on July 24 where after working early, was swamped late by Order Again. Goes straight from 1500m to 2000m which is a little unconventional, but I don't think he has a turn-of-foot over the shorter trips anyway. Should comfortably find the front under JMac and we'll get a better gauge on this gelding after Saturday.
7. Criminal Code was flattered by a hot tempo when saluting two starts back, albeit it was a deserved win and the chasing effort that followed suggested the 2000m now would suit. Perhaps the hard fit runner in this field that's peaking now?
showed good staying potential in his first Australian campaign, sustaining a strong run to win the Australia Day Stakes in January. Trials were average, but he does resume at 2000m and could be overs ($17.00 @ bet365
) as the true stayer in this line up.
4. Pancho doesn't win out of turn, although he's racing consistently and Waller couldn't have him anymore fitter for this with three 10-furlong runs under his belt. Hard horse to back, but he's a winning chance here.
Race 4 - 1:00PM PRECISE FIRE HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
1. RUSTIC STEEL was scratched from an easier assignment at Newcastle on Wednesday and although hasn't raced since a first-up win on July 7, he was kept ticking over with an August 2 trial. Keeping him on the fresh side may be the key and despite the wide draw, Tom Sherry should be able to take up the running or park outside Selburose early. Each-way, he's the safest way to go here.
4. Island Bay Boy
has been plying his trade on the country circuit and although I'm not sure how he measures up here, he's a galloper that I've always had plenty of time for. Bolted in via a recent trial and can't let him go around at $26.00 via Neds
without having a shekel on.
6. Mr Mozart could just be better than these, but always have to be wary with the resuming early three-year-old's off somewhat quiet trials. A stylish debut winner, the son of Snitzel then finished fourth behind Saif and Converge, although was well held.
5. King Of Sparta was a little plain second-up following a fresh win, but has strong form from his two-year-old attempts and may have just been ridden a little warm last start. JMac now takes the reins and this three-year-old carries 2.5kg less on Saturday.
Race 5 - 1:35PM MIDWAY HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
6. JUST FIELD is bit of a thinker, but she has talent and was favourite in a Midway two starts back following a runner-up to Our Bellagio Miss, who won a 78 following that. The five-year-old was a little plain at Randwick on July 31, albeit that was an 88 and is back to Midway (72 level) here with Josh Parr taking back the reins. Will likely spot them a start, but she's a chance in a very open race.
2. Exceltic has saluted for us at $20 and $15, so is well and truly in the bets.com.au hall of fame. He arrives here off a soft victory on the Kensington circuit and all four of his wins have come first or second-up. This is well within his grasp.
8. Bowery Breeze is classy on her day and has been freshened right up after winning a BM72 on June 14, with Van Giz a subsequent BM78 winner from that event. Barrier one is a slight knock, although she's a dual winner at Kembla Grange.
4. Awesome Lad improved over the summer, going back-to-back to start his prep before a pair of seconds at 72 level. Has trialled up twice for this return and this first-up Midway tilt would be a genuine target.
Race 6 - 2:15PM QUAYCLEAN HANDICAP Tips (2000 METRES)
4. MAYFAIR SPIRIT is where we've landed in a lottery. This Australian Bloodstock import made his down under debut at Sale in an event where the favourite (Worsfold) was a good thing licked, but this gelding was hard to miss late when balancing up and that winner saluted again on Wednesday. Up to 2000m is big tick and although technically up in grade, I'm not convinced this is much harder.
6. Major Artie is gradually improving after a horror start to winter, albeit that isn't uncommon early in a prep for Waterhouse & Bott runners. Dry ground is the key, which he finally found on July 31 when chasing strongly with 61kg. Does he peak here?
10. Bethencourt looked as though he could be anything early days before coming costly, although to be fair, he's still been consistent. He was three-wide the trip when rolled by Silent Agenda last start in a very similar race to this.
15. Silent Agenda
is one we gave a sniff to in that Bethencourt race and he duly saluted, while he draws for a soft run once more. Still only 2kg over the minimum and has to be considered again at a big price ($21.00 @ PlayUp
Race 7 - 2:55PM THE AGENCY SPRING PREVIEW Tips (1400 METRES)
6. CEPHEUS is one of the more interesting runners on this program, an OTI import that holds nominations for the Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup. While he'll improve off his Australian debut here over 1400m, the two lead-up trials have been excellent and he easily could've rolled Spirit Ridge in the last of those. At an each-way price, this may well be the time to back him.
5. Frosty Rocks got the chocolates for us first-up, digging in late after looking vulnerable. At the weights and at the trip, he's still the one to beat here, although his last two second-up runs have been poor and Man Of Peace drawn to the inside could be problematic.
1. Order Again is flying for Chris Waller, a gelding that has shaken somewhat of a non-winner's tag this year with two victories, including a last start listed win at Rosehill. He carries 58kg again with the engagement of 2kg claimer Tom Sherry.
2. Gaulois isn't the easiest galloper to place these days with a high rating, but the return was okay at Rosehill and is much better suited to this trip second-up. This is one of the more winnable races he'll find.
Race 8 - 3:35PM DARLEY UP AND COMING STAKES Tips (1300 METRES)
1. TIGER OF MALAY has 61kg to carry and is spotting decent weight to every rival, but it's a worthy impost as a Group Two winner only two starts ago prior to a third to Converge in the JJ Atkins. As a reference, Subterranean has more than five lengths to make up on him from that most recent clash, and he's the third market elect here. Has residual fitness from the winter and the tick-over trial was sound.
3. Construct is hard fit with seven kilos off the favourite, and although it was at Provincial level, this colt got that breakthrough out of the way and he should've won that by further. Some of his earlier form was good and staying on good ground is the key to him.
9. Concocted is yet another China Horse Club runner in the field and following a stylish Maiden, he made some late inroads behind Silent Impact at Rosehill, who would've been a clear second favourite here had he accepted.
is big odds ($17.00 @ BlueBet
), but may just be a little more untapped than few of these and the lead-up trial was faultless. Following a debut win at Pakenham, the better-quality autumn races just came a little soon for this well-bred gelding.
Race 9 - 4:15PM BOWERMANS COMMERCIAL FURNITURE HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
3. HASSTOBEGOOD had her first run for Joe Pride on July 24 and it was a terrific return. (shared similar closer splits to the winner/equal best last 600m). A mare that was able to win a 1400m BM70 by four lengths back in January, she also placed multiple times at Stakes level back in New Zealand. Out wide can be favourable at Kembla and if that's the case, she's found her right race here.
1. Bring Me Ransom simply didn't run out the trip last start, but her prior form when beating Yukon (subsequent winner) and Criminal Code is certainly good enough for this. 1800m back to 1400m in two weeks isn't exactly an easy pattern, however.
6. Steel Diamond looked set for a big first prep for Waller following an excellent return on June 12, but she's subsequently been ordinary twice. Her better form from last winter still reads okay and off just that fresh effort, she'd be right in this.
2. Stellar Pauline was just fair last Saturday and remains on top of the ground, having not won from nine attempts on good tracks, while she's only saluted twice overall from 19 attempts. Honest enough, but sub $5 looks poison.
Race 10 - 4:55PM ELITE SAND & SOIL HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
2. RULE THE WORLD was well backed on July 24 and despite finishing sixth of eight, has recorded the fastest last 600m of that six-furlong affair, where he was only beaten two lengths on the line. The five-year-old saluted at 1400m second-up last campaign, defeating a field that included the likes of Regardsmaree, King Magnus and Biometric, all very strong form lines for a modest 78 he finds here.
10. Pale King won his first two Australian starts and was then tipped out after putting in a howler at Sandown as favourite in March. The obvious query is the 1400m, but he does look the runner in this field with genuine upside and the July 20 trial was excellent.
4. Ashman bounced back when finding firmer footing at Randwick and although was plain first-up on a heavy track, that was a decent form race. As was evident when campaigning in Queensland, he's a galloper that generally holds form when he finds it.
3. Blondeau defeated the subsequent Coffs Harbour Cup winner last start and he travelled the winner for most of that journey on July 17. Has been mixing his efforts, but does find himself back to a 78 and is quite well in at 59kg after the claim.