Rail: +3m entire circuit
Weather: Showers Tuesday morning, Fine thereafter
Track Condition: Good 4 (Monday)
Track Expectations: Between 2 and 8mm of rain is predicted to fall in Melbourne on Wednesday morning. The lower end of that scale should see us return to a Good track with the sting out by the first. The track raced fairly from a True rail position at the last meeting.
To The Barricades handled the Heavy when running second to the smart Grand Scholar, a subsequent winner, on debut. Beau Belle has had a spell after an impressive debut and Against Time is the obvious of the debutants.
Verdict: To The Barricades
Both of Regal Rifle’s efforts in her first preparation indicated she is a mare with ability. She can lead and prove hard to catch. Loe is a threat at an each-way quote if settling closer, while Parlay Princess, Blue Ocean and Grand Promenade should all be watched running on late.
Verdict: Regal Rifle
The three at the top of early markets – Sukoshi, Pouting Lips and Hard Press – are all first up and will look to zip along over the dog leg course. This gives those with additional fitness, such as the fillies Grafted and Arigato, the chance to settle off the pace and pounce
The barrier draw hasn’t been kind to Write Enuff but if Currie allows her to maintain a rhythm she shouldn’t cover too much extra ground at this track configuration. She and Divine Mr Tycoon, whose class drop is further assisted by an apprentice claim, look the likeliest contenders.
Verdict: Write Enuff
Three last-start winners head the market. Lord Of Darkness can lead from barrier two, possibly giving Aussie Nugget a trail from the inside. Midas Prince need not settle far away either – he drops considerably in grade, handles the weight, is fit and gets on with Yendall.
Verdict: Midas Prince
Barrier one is potentially sticky for Lianne but she has the strongest form – she finished a length off Widespread last start, who was since beaten 3.5L in a Group 2. She’s aided by strong speed, as is Touch Of Mink who has made a southern switch.
The Widespread form mentioned above ties in Kamien who stormed home to be beaten 1.5L in that event. Before, he finished alongside Irish Butterfly and meets that runner 2kg better after the claim. With fitness on his side, Kamien is the bet at the prices, with Mickey Blue Eyes a market watch.
A big field with the wide runners providing speed. That will suit Wham, who resumes here after being a consistent eye-catcher last prep. Herman’s Bells is the other big closer. If the track suits on-pacers then there are half a dozen candidates!