Race 1 - 12:40PM THE PAUL HOFFMANN HANDICAP Tips (1000 METRES)
3. ARTHUR FRANCIS. Scratched from last Saturday but did run a similar overall time to that winner in Remarque via his latest hit-out. A full brother to a stakes-winner in Fox Hall, this colt has quickened nicely in both public outings and has the benefit of barrier one for Hugh Bowman here, which could prove crucial in an impossible race to sort out.
Arguably been the most professional from this line-up at the trials.
1. Chameleon Choice. Improved in a December trial when leading throughout and was under a grip prior to a Melbourne debut run where he got lost up the Flemington straight, but boxed on well considering. Nash Rawiller now rides and back around a bend, there's not a lot to knock and that trip away can bring him on further.
9. Headliner. A strong filly who missed the start at her first hit-out then was ridden conservatively at her latest before finishing off nicely. The market late might tell us what the intent is from gate three.
7. Stay Inside. Has been more workmanlike than many of his rivals, hence the price, but has importantly responded both times when required, especially via his latest after he did some work early.
Race 2 - 1:15PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP Tips (1100 METRES)
1. ART CADEAU. A super honest competitor who hasn't missed a top two finish from eight starts and broke a run of five consecutive seconds two starts back in nice style at Kembla Grange. Was three-wide and chasing a good speed at his latest with 61kg, an impost he carries again but draws for the suck run just off a hot speed.
Freshened-up and although a tricky event to line-up, he does look the safest option.
9. Water Dove. From a strong country stable who consistently figure in the Highways and following a very tough debut win back in June last year, was tipped out and resumed with a much more dominant display on January 11. Not sold on what she beat there, but did it well and on the 54kg minimum with speed to burn, she could take catching.
2. Shelby Sixtysix. No public trials since last being seen in May 2020, so the betting is our only guide on this gelding who showed a touch of class in a first preparation that netted two wins. James McDonald takes the ride.
8. Mischief Managed.
Suspect they'll ride him cold from the wide gate but isn't the worst to fill a hole at a big quote ($21 @ Neds
) with plenty of speed up front. Yet to put in a bad one from six starts and has a fitness edge over many rivals here.
Race 3 - 1:50PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP Tips (1100 METRES)
10. FANTINI. Opened her account with an eye-catching Maiden (in good time) win back in February and this campaign, followed a nice trial win over Al Stand (94-rater/won 10 races overall) with a strong return effort at Coffs Harbour in by far the inferior going that day.
That winner completed a hat-trick of wins at his next outing, so the form has stacked up and in an open race, she's an each-way hope here with any improvement.
1. Melik. Has an average starting price of $1.85 over four career runs which have resulted in two wins and two seconds. Resuming here and on ability, has most of these covered. Will race without blinkers for the first time and settled well with this important gear change in a recent trial where they took a sit.
4. Expellable. Grabbed on the line first-up by Dancing Dollar who is no slouch before making inroads behind a useful pair in Snitzari and Makana on January 7. This isn't much harder and with now two runs back from a long break, can peak here.
7. Makana. Powered away to score two starts back before just holding off Expellable in that last attempt. Not sure what upside is left this campaign but a return to a firmer surface is a plus.
Race 4 - 2:25PM ANZ BLOODSTOCK NEWS HANDICAP Tips (1100 METRES)
9. THE FACE. After a big debut win, the son of Rubick was well backed in the Rosebud but on a Heavy track, found Ole Kirk and Anders too classy and was then tipped out. Resumed this campaign with a brave second after being pestered throughout and was tough again as the only on-speed runner to stick on in the Gosford Guineas, where it took a smart Forbidden Love to roll him.
Back to 1100m here and fitter, he looks superbly placed for a much-deserved victory.
2. Emanate. Following a slow start to her last preparation, worked her way through the grades over the early spring and finished that campaign with a comfortable victory in this grade. Against some slick up and comers, this does look a big test first-up but the January 15 trial when working home behind Greyworm, was excellent.
6. Valaquenta. The more favoured of the Godolphin duo and seemingly has upside, but September Run aside, who beat him easily, that Melbourne three-year-old form around him from the spring is a little suspect. Lead-up trial was inconclusive.
8. Hibiscus Lady.
Would be surprised if she managed to win this event over any of the above three but hard-fit and racing consistently, she's one for the exotics at a price ($13 @ bet365
Race 5 - 3:00PM BOWERMANS COMMERCIAL FURNITURE HANDICAP Tips (1100 METRES)
6. VELORUM. Wasn't convincing fresh, but class just got this colt home who the market was against late and off just the one quiet trial, that wasn't a shock. Hanging out on that occasion around that tight circuit and then laying-out in the straight, they've now put the blinkers on, which I suspect Team Hawkes have been itching to use with this three-year-old.
With little speed on paper, we're looking for a positive Tommy Berry early.
5. Rule Of Law. Exoboom aside, who isn't a sprinter, he didn't necessarily beat a whole lot albeit did it in fine fashion via both victories in the winter. Has had two trials in the lead-up to this return, both within the space of eight days and was ridden out to win his latest. The deserving favourite in a thin race but just a little wary with likely further targets this campaign in mind.
4. Rocketing By. Resumed with a kill on the country circuit in what looked no more than a barrier trial at Nowra and that followed a very good trial win. He looks a city class galloper and we'll get a better gauge on his ceiling here.
Has had just the one trial, but did equal the work of Rule Of Law in that hit-out and is plummeting in grade after racing at group level in six of her seven starts to date. Decent odds ($14 @ Unibet Australia
) considering that class drop.
Race 6 - 3:40PM HEINEKEN HANDICAP Tips (2000 METRES)
4. SACRAMENTO. Following a brave Boxing Day return when working throughout as by far the pick the on-paced brigade, this gelding recorded a tough victory on January 9. After doing the donkey work in carting the field up to a tearaway leader there, it was a much better win than the margin indicated and in this field, does look the logical leader at 2000m.
Meets New Arrangement 1.5kg better off from that, is still on an upwards spiral and is the obvious selection here.
2. Kiss The Bride. Can improve from that same January 9 contest where he drew poorly and for the rise to a Benchmark 88, is much better placed with a 3kg drop in the weights along with a senior in Josh Parr going on, who was aboard for his last win. Closing in on a peak now and from a better gate, is a threat.
3. New Arrangement. Had every chance against the favourite a fortnight back and is yet to win past a mile, so the extra furlong again is a query. Is very consistent, however, and in a race without depth, should be in the mix.
Went straight from 1500m-2000m second-up and recorded the fastest last 600m of that December 19 contest. He'll find something a little easier soon, but that was a nice effort and at big odds ($18 @ PlayUp
), could fill a top three or four slot.
Race 7 - 4:20PM SKY RACING ACTIVE HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
9. ST COVET'S SPIRIT. In about the most open race on the card, this grey mare can record an elusive second career victory. She hasn't handled the soft tracks and after being narrowly denied three starts back, nearly fell on Boxing Day.
With the blinkers going for the first time, it may be a last resort move but from an inside draw and with no speed in this contest, it should give her every chance to sprint home.
2. Ulysses. Relished the return to firmer footing on January 9 with an all the way victory and does look the only leader on paper in this field. Even with the 2kg claim, he is getting very close to his mark now but will get very chance up front and this is by no means a strong event.
5. Zegalo. Waller import having his first start in Australia and has jumped out fairly in Melbourne. Draws well for James McDonald in two and is the one in this line-up that I'd most respect any positive market moves from.
3. Outback Diva. Had some bad luck first-up but was still pretty ordinary late. Is unbeaten from three second-up attempts and was well fancied in a pair of Benchmark 88's at the end of winter, so is certainly up to this level if right.
Race 8 - 5:00PM FUJITSU GENERAL CARRINGTON STAKES Tips (1400 METRES)
9. CHAT. Drew out at Canterbury when resuming off a freshen-up and although unsuited there, where he was forced to sustain a wide run from the rear, was only just shaded for the best last 600m by Eleven Eleven who franked that in the Magic Millions Cup last Saturday.
This a competitive feature, but that looks the right form and 1400m here from a better draw with only 53kg, it's his chance to land a Stakes race.
3. Order Again. Where on earth did that dominant fresh win come from? This seven-year-old gelding had been teasing everyone for seemingly an eternity then rolls up on January 2 and wins like Phar Lap. Has had a tick over trial since and off that dominant victory, I wouldn't rule him out of anything, let alone this.
8. Bandersnatch. A chance as one of the few in-form runners here, but a $2.70 favourite? Had 78-84 Melbourne form prior to his January 9 return to Sydney, where he couldn't get past King Of Hastings who was three-wide the trip.
6. Cradle Mountain.
Is very hot and cold these days and we saw the worst of him first-up but he's since won a trial. Did take out this race last year following an ordinary fresh showing, so while he can't be trusted, is capable of a turnaround at a price ($21 @ Palmerbet
Race 9 - 5:40PM TAB HANDICAP Tips (1600 METRES)
3. SELICA. It's a typically open mares line-up and although there's little confidence, we'll go the way of this four-year-old. After an even return in a leader-dominated affair, we specked her at big odds in the Group Three Belle Of The Turf, and got a place collect albeit she had every chance to win that.
With that mile run under the belt and a recent trial, she should be near her top now and draws for a soft run from gate two.
9. Zing. Led throughout for a comfortable third-up win and only goes up 1kg for a race that isn't all that much harder. The main challenge for Tommy Berry this time around is barrier 14 in a bigger field, so can he get across early? Is the one to beat with a pinch of luck early and would be more pronounced favourite here if she came up with a kinder draw.
5. Dame Kiri. Won two in a row to start the campaign and was particularly impressive second-up when strolling away late on the Kensington track. Okay last start for third (left with too much to do) and although the mile is a query, she's going well.
A beaten favourite last Saturday where she was a touch plain but not disgraced and does have form on these shorter turnarounds. Back against her own sex here, is well with the claim and has a good strike rate. A little over the odds ($12 @ BlueBet
Race 10 - 6:15PM DRINKWISE MILE Tips (1600 METRES)
5. ALL TIME LEGEND. Is shooting for five wins in a row and three this preparation with a decent leveller of 59kg (up 3.5kg off the second-up win), which are definite queries but looking at this field, what's going to roll him? Held off the returning (group class) Subedar on January 9 and McEvoy may elect to take a trail here.
Looks a very thin Benchmark 88 and is clearly the one to beat in the last.
9. Snowfire. Although he only narrowly prevailed, this four-year-old still pulled out plenty late to score third-up and along with the favourite, is still open to improvement. Up in grade but drops 3kg for his trouble and as mentioned, it isn't a vintage 88. Will roll forward and as the market suggests, does look clearly the main danger to All Time Legend.
14. Brutality. Excellent first-up win over 1300m, which is as short as he wants it and was the only runner making ground behind Ulysses on January 9. This is much tougher but he has upside although most of his form is on wet tracks.
13. Cisco Bay. Nearly upset Snowfire in a ding-dong battle to the line last start, so should be included off that despite having not attempted this grade before and he has been up a while now.