Track: Too early to comment prior to Oaks day but once again you would be brave to suggest it will not race well.
Second crack at the mile this time in for Ranier suits. H Bowman on does too. Mandela Effect comes into this race off a mile run as well. Maps sweetly and James McDonald jumps on. Top pick for me. Reserve Street next best but can see Ryan Moore being stuck three back the fence on him.
Verdict: Mandela Effect
Good race with some angles here. Lucky For All is a horse I have some time for. Wrong part of the track at Moe and I think he will enjoy the space of Flemington. Maps nicely slightly back of midfield for Jye McNeil who I also have some time for in the right spots. Wetakemanhattan rates strongly and will be tough on pace. Think they will nab him late, though. Jaguary I think will settle midfield with cover and not race on speed like last time. Market likes him early. Grinzinger Star a live chance but think he might be one run short.
Verdict: Lucky For All EW
Hilo drops out of a good race on a testing track and importantly drops back to 1400m which I think is a big plus. Drawn nicely with Damien Lane on board, surprised we are getting double figures! Stablemate Knickpoint is on the up and up but has gone up too short here I fancy. Respecting but betting around. Regimental Band is third pick for me. Expect he drifts a little, though.
Verdict: Hilo EW
This is a nice race each year. One will be very popular this time around though and very hard to beat. Ryan Moore jumps on too! True Self is the best shorty on the card. Think he would have run top 5 in the Cup. Carif backs up out of a race that only rated so-so behind the impressive winner. Nice horse though and second pick. Red Cardinal one of a few that will appreciate rain between now and on Saturday.
Verdict: True Self
Small field but an obvious hot race with some punters pals engaged. Santa Ana Lane was huge in the Everest. Proven WFA star down the straight and clear top pick. Nature Strip was so so brave in that same Everest and they ran super time. He is a beast and does like the straight. If this was 1100m he might be favourite over Santa? I have Alizee on top of Loving Gaby she ran well in the Everest, just wish we knew how she went down the straight.
Verdict: Santa Ana Lane
Another great race. I note that Spanish Reef has been backed early. She ran ok in the Empire Rose, still not convinced she is a strong 2000m horse. Greysful Glamour is absolutely flying. Drawn wide and may need to work a bit to control the tempo of this race. Rondinella steps to the right trip for her. Gets the run of the race. Girl Tuesday a leading chance also.
Cracked record – good betting race again! Streets Of Avalon is turning into a war horse. 1400m is his go. Iconoclasm maps lovely and he was very tough at Moonee Valley. Hard to see him running poorly here and he is weighted well. Admiral’s Joker just flying with the form jockey booked. Widgee Turf is as well but the low draw is a little negative for my assessments. Chances don’t end there!
Cox Plate 2:0 is a decent field and with plenty of cash on offer it will be hotly contested. Magic Wand backs up from the Cup where she was ridden poorly. Will be hard to beat if she gets hold of the tempo. Stack of chances. Hartnell can win his swansong, Kings Will Dream won the 2000m race here two starts back. Melody Belle was simply awesome in the Empire Rose but this is tougher. Humidor has had a funny prep and I’m still not fully convinced he is going his best but is a good 2000m horse at Flemington.
Verdict: Kings Will Dream EW
Tahitian Dancer is a nice filly but hasn’t placed at Flemington and hasn’t had a look down the straight. Esperance gets a little claim form Teo to help with the impost. Strong 1100m record he has. Halvorsen will get back and perhaps in wrong part of track. Rates well, though. Poised To Strike drawn to be near the speed down the outside. Likes Flemington too. Leading chance. Morrissy jumping from the 955m to 1100m here suits. He has ability and think the penny will drop this prep.
Verdict: Poised To Strike