Rail: +8.5m entire course
Weather: Sunny, high 20s race day
Track Condition: Soft 6 (improving)
Track Expectations: A drying track with the rail out 8.5m should provide a demonstrable advantage to on-pace horses throughout the card.
Race 1 – TAB QTIS Three-Years-Old Handicap
Four of the seven are last start winners and Daddy Cool the leader on exposed form. Purroni should kick up from the inside to race handily. She’s green but talented. Cellarmaid extended nicely to win a maiden last start and will improve.
Race 2 – GALLOPERS SPORTS CLUB CG&E Maiden Plate
An aggressive ride on Chicago Bull from Byrne should give him every hope on the pace. Alderman can also land close to the front and will stick on boldly once again.
Verdict: Chicago Bull
Race 3 – BRC SPRING RACING CARNIVAL F&M Maiden Plate
Big field for the fillies maiden. Victory Liner has options from the draw. She chased home Purroni (R1) a fortnight ago. Amiche was game on debut after being in a speed battle with a good one and can go on with it here.
Verdict: Victory Liner
Race 4 – MELBOURNE CUP @EAGLE FARM OPEN Handicap
Expect a sterling battle between book-enders Bolero King and Shauquin for the front. Shauquin is going better, but those early sections might play right into the hands of the resuming stayer Ruby Guru who is no slouch first up.
Verdict: Ruby Guru
Race 5 – ASCOT HOUSE BENCHMARK 65 Handicap
Masstoo will look to cross from the deep and lead Round Mountain Gem. While the former should enjoy this 1650m journey, he’ll provide Storm Harbour the perfect passage into the event. The gelding is relishing his racing and should be difficult to hold out.
Verdict: Storm Harbour
Race 6 – THE SOCIETY NYE PARTY RATINGS BAND 0 – 70
An awkward staying event. Craiglea Cetina should set the tempo but it will be hard to hold out Bering Sea if he gets the trip. His last start win was enormous and the ride just as good.
Verdict: Bering Sea
Race 7 – KIRIN RATINGS BAND 0 – 70 Handicap
The Administrator and No Refund have drawn wide and will want to cross. But Erringhi Spring may just hustle off the inside and hold them out, she could be tough to beat if so. Cinnamon Missile can settle closer from a better draw and is ready for the extra trip.
Verdict: Erringhi Spring