Race 1 - 1:00PM CHANDON HANDICAP Tips (1100 METRES)
Best - 11. VOWMASTER. Exciting Chris Waller-trained gelding who went back-to-back in dominant fashion to remain unbeaten at Moonee Valley in November, rattling off a slick last 600m/400m/200m against seasoned opposition as an early three-year-old and he couldn't have been any more impressive via his lead-up trial here on February 11
Prevailing in one of only two heats to break 54 seconds that morning, the other being the trial won by multiple Group winner Haut Brion Her, Vowmaster ran a faster overall time than one of the better sprinting mares in the country. The big unknown is the Heavy surface and from barrier 12, this may give us a good gauge early on how this track will play.
Value - 3. FANCIFUL DREAM. She was plain first-up behind The Face who dictated proceedings but with the blinkers coming off, it was a much-improved showing behind the very smart Written Beauty on February 6, equalling the fastest last 600m of that contest with Spaceboy, who is the currently favourite in a much stronger race later in this card.
Fanciful Dream comes back from a Benchmark 94 to a 78 and still gets in fairly well with 55.kg after the Tom Sherry claim. She hasn't finished outside the top three in five heavy track attempts, is prepared by an in-form Paul Perry stable and has a fitness edge against many of these early in their preps.
Race 2 - 1:35PM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 3 HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
Best - 7. COMMANDO HUNT. A typically competitive Highway and the barriers haven't made it any easier with a few of the key chances in this affair which does include Commando Hunt, a very consistent three-year-old who peeled off the fastest last 600m of the February 7 edition, when second to Katgully Red, who he has a little weight swing on.
It is worth noting he was a month between runs on that occasion and while he's attempting the seven furlongs for the first time, that last effort indicated it would suit. Back to a wet track looks the key for this gelding who is unbeaten from both efforts on Heavy ground, and is one of only two multiple heavy track winners in this field.
Value - 15. TEXAS STORM. The second emergency gains a start and while he does seemingly lack the class of a few of these, the heavy track and 54kg brings him right into it and technically, he should find this a little easier to his last few country attempts in some handy enough Class 4 contests.
Texas Storm is now at peak fitness and is no stranger to a Highway appearance, with a third last winter over this track/trip before being tipped out and resumed with an honest effort behind Pinnacle Prince this campaign (nothing that strong in this field). He can be a little hit or miss in his starts but with a fair getaway, will do no work from gate one.
Race 3 - 2:10PM NSW JOCKEYS ASSOCIATION HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
Best - 3. ZIEGFELD. Seven of the nine that make-up this field are first-up which includes stayers kicking off their preparations while the two gallopers that have raced this campaign have both failed in their heavy track attempts to date. It's tough to say the least and one that is this on their Australian debut is the Godolphin entire Ziegfeld.
Cummings and Bowman gave us absolutely nothing in the February 5 trial which was run at a good clip but this this son of New Approach was under a firm grip and was just going around for practice. His Listed win last September in France was recorded after taking up the lead, so it will be interesting to see what they do here.
1. QUICK THINKER. The 2020 ATC Derby winner had a short spring via two efforts in Melbourne and after showing very little, was put away and while the Handicapper hasn't missed him with a 62kg impost, he's the class runner of the field and this is his first run outside of Stakes grade since his Maiden.
Quick Thinker is no stranger to a 1400m success at Rosehill with a comfortable first-up win here as a two-year-old on a Heavy 9 track and was competitive behind Probabeel and Funstar at 1500m last autumn, so he is quite versatile. Big ask with that weight but in his favoured conditions, class can take him a long way.
Race 4 - 2:45PM IRRESISTIBLE POOLS & SPAS MILLIE FOX STAKES Tips (1300 METRES)
Best - 2. POSITIVE PEACE. As the only natural leader in the race and with barrier three at Josh Parr's disposal, this multiple Group winner does look clearly the one from a map perspective in this Mare's feature and she is unbeaten from two starts at Rosehill, both on wet tracks, so is the deserving early favourite as she will likely take luck out of the equation.
My main knock is that it generally does take her a run to hit her straps and off the one relatively quiet trial, it will be interesting to see what the betting does late albeit she is one that the market hasn't caught on multiple occasions. Looks the safest option in an otherwise competitive affair.
Value - 9. EXOTIC RUBY. One of two stable mates to the favourite and while her recent Benchmark form indicates this is a bridge too far, you can tie line her up with Subpoenaed in her first campaign, the third market elect in this contest and Exotic Ruby showed every bit as much talent in those earlier days.
Her summer return was hard to miss with a strong second to Lillemor (narrowly beaten in a Benchmark 88 at her next start) and despite a tick-over trial, she was just a little flat second-up, but I have no doubt that was another blowout, so is one of the few actually targeted toward this. Whether she's good enough is another question.
Race 5 - 3:20PM IRON JACK SILVER SLIPPER STAKES (1100 METRES)
Best - 2. ZETHUS. With the scratching of Four Moves Ahead, it's made it a pretty open 1100m for the two-year-old's but with race fitness and following a last bound win in the Group Three Canonbury Stakes, I was slightly leaning the way of this Godolphin colt who did improve from the debut when getting home from the rear behind the very smart Remarque.
What was most impressive is that he didn't completely flop out of the gates but settled just off a good tempo and from barrier seven, can naturally tack on that bit closer in what isn't a big field. He's at least an each-way price with queries around most of his rivals.
Value - 3. ROCKET TIGER. Following a debut win at Canberra (on protest), they brought this gelding straight to town on Boxing Day and although it was never pretty, it was a tough win at big odds over a very impressive debut winner in Vandoula Lass while Vianello has come out of that and recorded a runner-up to Golden Slipper fancy Stay Inside, albeit well held.
While he does look appear rather workman-like, Rocket Tiger hasn't done a thing wrong to date and certainly deserves his crack at this feature where from barrier two, he can land straight on the speed under Kathy O'Hara. Likely a $9-$10 chance in these markets if he was out of a city stable, so there's some value there currently.
Race 6 - 3:55PM PARRAMATTA CUP Tips (1900 METRES)
Best - 11. 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.
Sacramento was able to control proceedings in his latest attempt, which resulted in a much more comprehensive victory and despite this being much harder on paper, he plummets 3.5kg in the weights. Hopeful of a better price closer to the jump but he's the fit and in-form runner of the field. Has to go on top.
Value - 5. THE LORD MAYOR. He was desperately in need of the run fresh, but that hard-run contest on February 6 can bring him on much further now and given there was three January trials in the lead-up to this preparation, this gelding will have a better base than many of these, despite perhaps lacking some of the class.
Straight to 1900m now is a positive and James McDonald in the saddle is somewhat of a lead from the Waller stable. Against what looks to a field of genuine stayers kicking off their campaigns, it does look a much better set-up here for The Lord Mayor compared to that fresh performance, which he drops 3kg off.
Race 7 - 4:35PM CITY TATTERSALLS CLUB HOBARTVILLE STAKES Tips (1400 METRES)
Best - 4. PELTZER. Didn't measure up in the Golden Rose, but came back a few notches to record back-to-back wins in the spring and now, there's a chance he may have gone past North Pacific which his two excellent trials suggested and he gave his key rival a bath first-up in the Eskimo Prince Stakes, which is the key lead-up race for this.
Wary of a bounce back from the Team Hawkes colt, a stable that can leave a fair bit in the locker early in preparations but on a favourable heavy track, Peltzer will land straight on the speed and to 1400m, there's no reason he can't improve again. This son of So You Think is the top elect and I'm surprised he's not a little shorter in the early markets.
Value - 6. PRAGUE. A tough two-year-old that never really came up in the spring, with the post-race revealing the colt to be suffering from colic after the Guineas prelude but off just the one trial and on debut for trainer Annabel Neasham, he was easily the run of that Eskimo Prince Stakes, outside the winner.
Prague is capable of settling on the speed and in that first-up attempt, there was no early intent but sustaining a long run from the rear, did record the fastest last 600m of that contest in an effort without any favours. The blinkers now go back on and from an inside draw, he's the main danger to the favourite.
Race 8 - 5:15PM SHARP EXTENSIVE IT HANDICAP Tips (1100 METRES)
Best - 4. MUNITIONS. Although he was a little plain in his Australian debut at Flemington last spring, James Cummings tipped Munitions straight out and while I do still have my queries on him, with much inferior form down in the weights with Black Magnum, All Cylinders and Trumbull, this race looks to revolve around the son of War Front.
At his current odds, it will be very interesting to see what the betting does late as that price will be snapped up if there's confidence from the yard following a decent trial on February 11. A hard run 1200m may be what he's searching for and with Spaceboy, Cradle Mountain, All Cyclinders and Tavisan up front, it should play out that way.
Value - 1. HANDLE OF TRUTH. His consistent body of work from the winter of 2019 to the end of last spring has unfortunately made Handle The Truth a very hard galloper to place now with an inflated rating, but now finding his way back to Benchmark level at 1200m, he can figure here with a winnable weight (57.5kg after the claim).
Despite the efforts, Handle The Truth just doesn't run out a strong seven furlongs but with a strong first-up record, an excellent overall strike rate (three-time winner at Rosehill) and with good Heavy track stats, he can camp just off a good speed then launch late.
Race 9 - 5:55PM CLEANAWAY HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
Best - 4. LACKEEN. Yet another import on Australian debut this Saturday is Lackeen, who had just the four starts in Europe and with only a Maiden win to his name, it does mean he can be placed softer and taken through the grades, starting with this Benchmark 78, which off his February 5 trial, he should be winning with even luck if that piece of work was any indication.
It was a more forward trial than we are used to seeing from a James Cummings runner and after settling off the speed in that fast run heat early, the son of Shamardal was in a perfect rhythm when continuing make ground in the run to the line, joining the winner not long after the post. Simply, he just looks better than this grade, despite 1400m being as short as he wants it.
Value - 10. SO TAKEN. After showing genuine stakes class ability in her late three-year-old season which included a pair of Group placings, this mare hasn't been able to go on with it and although she is a long time between drinks, has still been thereabouts in most contests, some of those in higher company to this.
While the ninth-place finish doesn't reflect it, I thought her last lead-up trial was quite good behind Peltzer and she followed that with an even return behind a smart stable mate. In what does appear to be somewhat of a lottery if the favourite doesn't lob, So Taken is capable enough of a top three or four finish for the exotic players.
ROSEHILL QUADDIE TIPS: