Race 1 - 12:45PM SCHWEPPERVESCENCE Tips (1400 METRES)
3. CONVERGE looks your typical, tough Waterhouse & Bott front-runner and arguably comes out of the strongest race where he was three-wide the trip first-up in the Pago Pago Stakes taken out by Shaquero who had the charmed run. Even without the favours, the son of Frankel has gone to the line with Ingratiating, who placed in the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper either side of that. Open race, but he'll make his own luck and with any improvement, should give a good sight.
The early favourite is 6. Conrad, who admittedly is only coming off a Provincial win but it was an arrogant victory on the line and he comfortably bettered the overall times of the two other 1200m races on that March 9 card, one of those being a Class 1 that had a progressive winner. Wide draw is the knock and interestingly James McDonald jumps off.
2. Saif won a Ballarat Maiden before contesting the VRC Sires' at Flemington, an event where Lightsaber recorded a winning hat-trick in the process after dictating up front. With a soft run in transit and ideally a faster tempo, he's a leading chance.
Hard not like both efforts so far from 12. Flying Witness
who really caught the eye late in the Reisling Stakes, suggesting that the 1400m would be ideal. Lacks tactical speed but is right in this at a fair price ($19.00 @ Sportsbet
) if they're running on.
Race 2 - 1:20PM XXXX NEVILLE SELLWOOD STAKES Tips (2000 METRES)
3. ENTENTE went straight from a Provincial Maiden to win a Group Three last autumn and progressed further last spring as a four-year-old then was tipped out after a Geelong Cup tilt. Luckless in both efforts this campaign before bolting in with the Albury Cup, when looking stronger with a bunny to chase, he is, however, the only runner with early speed here, so is expected to lead by default. Perhaps just the on the up and in-form at the right time for a race that lacks depth.
Although it was only an even run in the Australian Cup, 2. SHARED AMBITION is much better suited back in grade and his prior form was strong for a race of this strength, defeating Mount Popa (won his next two including the Mornington Cup) despite spotting him 7kg before a runner-up to the in-form Paradee. Superbly weighted when you look what's below him on the ratings.
12 months ago, 1. Master Of Wine is a genuine odds-on chance here, in an autumn campaign that culminated in a fourth-place finish in a high rating Queen Elizabeth, where he was three-wide the trip. Disappointing in the spring that followed, he's delivered two fair efforts so far (second fastest last 600m of the Ranvet). Is he looking for further than 2000m now?
Doubt the winner comes from outside the first three albeit 5. Looks Like Elvis warrants respect off his fresh effort behind the subsequent George Ryder winner Think It Over. Was entitled to offer more second-up, however.
Race 3 - 1:55PM SIGNACE TULLOCH STAKES Tips (2000 METRES)
The last four Australian Derby winners have won the Tulloch Stakes en-route to the three-year-old staying feature seven days later, so there's plenty of interest here. I hate the draw but still leaning the way of 6. FAVREAU, a gelding that showed promise last campaign, but the spring just came a little soon. The son of Tavistock has returned a much more furnished galloper now, recording back-to-back wins at a mile leading in.
3. Young Werther is yet to deliver on the early hype which saw him start favourite in the VRC Derby at just start three. It has been a lower build-up into the autumn, with an improved showing second-up indicating he was crying out for 2000m which he got in the Alister Clark, but it wasn't run to suit. This should be a faster run 10 furlongs, a set-up which he could very well explode off.
The blinkers come off 4. Yaletown in a bid to get this Coolmore gelding to run out the further trip. After comfortably accounting for a handy California Cible on debut, he was tipped out and put in a fighting fresh performance before whacking away in the Phar Lap Stakes behind Hungry Heart. Can give a big sight.
Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman prepared Quick Thinker to win this last year before going on to take out the Derby a week later. They have 2. Frontman in the 2021 edition, who is likely to face a Good surface for the first time and was a little plain in March 26 trial at Randwick. Impossible to predict how he measures up here.
Race 4 - 2:35PM CANADIAN CLUB EMANCIPATION STAKES Tips (1500 METRES)
After winning four of six starts in her first racing preparation, 10. NIMALEE resumed last year with a pair placing's before placing in the Angst Stakes and then didn't stay the 2000m of the Rosehill Cup. While she has had a slight setback, the four-year-old gave Yao Dash (won his next start), Polly Grey (Epona Stakes winner) and Aliferous (second in that Epona Stakes) a galloping lesson fresh. The recent trial was strong and with 54kg along with a soft draw, does look to get plenty of favours here.
Absolutely no knock on the favourite 1. Krone who is aiming for a fourth victory in a row on Saturday following two rather soft wins since campaigning in Sydney, the last of those being the Group One Coolmore Classic over this track and trip. She has been up a while now but is clearly the in-form runner in this line-up.
Another mare that's deep into her preparation now is 4. Quantum Mechanic
but is holding her form, winning two of her last three attempts including the Group Two Sunline Stakes, her first black-type victory. It's always query in their first go on the "other leg" but is going better than most of these and is decent odds ($17.00 @ Palmerbet
You're doing well to catch 2. Greysful Glamour, a galloper that does mix her form although saves her best for good ground and especially, leader-biased tracks. If conditions are in her favour, then she can give this a shake.
Race 5 - 3:15PM E GROUP SECURITY STAR KINGDOM STAKES Tips (1200 METRES)
This looks a bit of a lottery. One of four Godolphin runners engaged is the returning 1. CORUSCATE, a gelding that was a model of consistency last year, recording four wins over two campaigns, with the last pair of those coming first and second-up in the spring, both at Listed level. A proven weight carrier, he's trialled up well twice in readiness for this return and is one Cummings runner in this event that can at least take up a close position. He's big odds and has an each-way chance.
11. Pandemic should be the most progressive of these Godolphin runners, a four-year-old that was getting a little costly before December, where he recorded back-to-back wins including the Listed Christmas Stakes at Caulfield. He saw plenty of traffic first-up behind the speedy Ancestry at The Valley but this does look suitable where he can sprint hard late on the 54kg minimum.
The early favourite 6. California Zimbol had every favour first-up but duly saluted and is certainly open to more improvement on Saturday. She defeated Order Of Command in that return outing, who finished second behind Eduardo in last week's Galaxy albeit was well held. That's the right form.
6. Easy Eddie
was only narrowly beaten behind California Zimbol fresh and meets her 2kg better off from that contest, so has to be a saver at ($11.00 @ BlueBet
) if you're keen on the favourite. He has a good record on the quick back-up's and contested last Saturday's Galaxy.
Race 6 - 3:55PM VINERY STUD STAKES Tips (2000 METRES)
READ: Full Vinery Stud Stakes Preview
Barring New Zealand galloper Force Of Will, 2. HARMONY ROSE is the only runner in the 2021 Vinery Stud Stakes that is dropping back to fillies' grade, which is a huge factor and her fighting effort second-up effort in the Randwick Guineas was terrific. She was forced to do some early work there in a race set up for the back-markers, but fought on with the subsequent Rosehill Guineas winner Mo'unga just grabbing her late. Clearly the one to beat.
was terrific via her Australian debut over 1200m back in December which saw the Busuttin & Young stable spell this filly straight away with loftier autumn goals in mind and has had no luck in two runs this preparation. Damien Oliver back on from a wider draw are both positives as is the step up to 2000m. A winning chance at a double figure quote ($12.00 @ Palmerbet
3. Hungry Heart broke a winning drought of more than 12 months in the Phar Lap Stakes third-up where she was well supported and let down late. Clearly appreciated the Good surface, which she should get again but was that last start her birthday? Watch the betting.
The 2020 VRC Oaks winner 1. Personal had every chance second-up in the Kewney Stakes at Flemington but is fitter now getting to 2000m, but has drawn poorly. Finds it hard to win but is certainly in the top three/four calculations here.
Race 7 - 4:35PM KIA TANCRED STAKES Tips (2400 METRES)
READ: Full Tancred Stakes Preview
3. MIRAGE DANCER was building well earlier that preparation, arriving to the Group One Metrop third-up (same pattern and this distance) where he upset Mugatoo, the 2021 All-Star Mile winner that was luckless in last year's Cox Plate. That was admittedly at Handicap level, but he only had 1.5kg off Mugatoo and from that contest, meets Angel Of Truth 3kg better off under WFA conditions. Couldn't fault the last start Sky High Stakes attempt with this race in mind.
They had spaced the runs out for 3. The Chosen One
and with a strong March 4 trial at Rosehill prior to that March 13 return, there's a decent platform now for the Tancred Stakes with that Sky High Stakes effort now under the belt. You can tie his form in through Verry Elleegant last spring via the Caulfield Cup and is a good price ($14.00 @ bookmaker.com.au
) despite the bad draw.
9. Angel Of Truth hasn't won since taking out the 2019 Australian Derby although that isn't all that unusual for the middle distance/staying types when they come out of their three-year-old season. Last Saturday's Ranvet Stakes form is perfect for this, but the drying track is the negative.
The 2020 Cox Plate winner 1. Sir Dragonet returned to form in that same 2000m feature on Golden Slipper Day, catching the eye late for an eventual fourth-place finish. Certainly the class horse in this field, but he's another that has big queries about a return to a firmer surface.
Race 8 - 5:15PM ACY SECURITIES DONCASTER PRELUDE Tips (1500 METRES)
The lightly raced 4. ROCK profiles as a good lightweight Doncaster hope and looking to follow a similar second-up pattern that saw him bolt into score last spring, he's got the perfect platform to book his place into next Saturday's feature after recording the fastest last 600m of the Coolmore Classic meeting (32.91) covering more ground than Think It Over in the process, last Saturday's Georger Ryder Stakes winner. Settling a shade closer from a good draw would be ideal.
With a better draw, 15. Subedar
would be nearly favourite here I suspect but is still a fair quote ($7.00 @ TopSport
) to have a saver on. He rattled off some slick sectionals when runner-up off a big break and freshened-up following that, James Cummings avoided wet tracks and was rewarded, with the gelding recording back-to-back victories. He's on track to win a big race.
The bookies had to finally winded out a price for 12. Criaderas, who is now deservedly at a double figure quote following a poor effort as favourite in the Ajaz Stakes. Is as talented as any of these if he turns up, but has his fair share of quirks and has become very costly.
One at a monster price ($71.00 @ Unibet
) that is worth thought for the exotics is 14. Just Thinkin'
, a galloper with good second-up stats that defeated Subedar in their early three-year-old seasons. Had some excuses fresh but a return to firmer footing here suits.
Race 9 - 5:50PM CLEANAWAY HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
Arguably the most open race on the April 3 meeting from Rosehill is the last where we'll lean the way of the very honest 12. GREAT NEWS who rocketed into favouritism for the Provincial Championships Final (April 17) following a brilliant first-up win in a Qualifier on March 13. The Kim Waugh-trained mare is yet to finish outside the top three in nine career starts (five wins), is a winner at Metropolitan level and has improved if that fresh performance was any indication.
16. Lina's Hero is the second emergency, so does need a few to come out but is a leading contender in a competitive event. A little flatter second-up chasing a good speed, he still stuck to the task well after settling in a good trailing position and the blinkers now replace the winkers. Needs to improve but is projecting towards a peak now over 1400m.
Lancaster Bomber rolled 5. Starspangled Rodeo three starts back at Canterbury but this gelding has bounced off that strongly with a comfortable win on February 20 before a pair of seconds. Back to firmer ground suits and he draws for a lovely run on the speed for Josh Parr.
Chris Waller has likely eyed-off a Stakes race a later in the carnival for 9. Nudge over a little more ground but she found the line well fresh in a similar race. She finished midfield in a Group Two at Rosehill second-up in the Spring, so should definitely be respected in a Benchmark 88.