9-race card here at Rosehill this Saturday and again we’re met with wet with a heavy track.
The track is currently rated a Heavy 9 and more rain is expected before and during the 9-race program.
The rail is at the true position for the entire circuit.
The prospect of a heavy track points to BIRDS OF TOKYO being the one to beat again. She has reveled on 10-rated surfaces at her last two, scoring by 4L at Moe before romping home at Randwick where she beat Firebird Flyer by 6.3L. Meets her 2kg worse and is untried at this distance but she showed no signs of slowing down at the end last time and has been kept up to the mark with a trial since.
FIREBIRD FLYER has been in terrific form of late and was just nosed out over this trip against the boys at her only run since she was left in Birds Of Tokyo's wake. Has won on the heavy before and the weight turnaround and longer distance can see her bridge the gap.
NORTHERN JOURNEY romped home on a good surface over 2400m in Melbourne last time but her other five career wins were all on rain affected surfaces.
MY GIULIANO has been racing at the midweeks but doing a good job, missing by a nose last time. Hasn't fired on the heavy but Bowman goes back aboard.
SELECTIONS: No3 BIRDS OF TOKYO, No2 Firebird Flyer, No1 Northern Journey, No5 My Giuliano VALUE RUNNER: No4 Mandalong Kiss
R2 12.45pm STRASSMEIR HANDICAP 1500m
EXTENSIBLE (Next Best Bet) is highly promising and is clearly the one in this field with the most upside. She ran close up placings at her first two runs of her campaign then showed what she could do when fully fit with a dominant win at this course last time. Hasn't raced on a heavy surface but has been top three at all four runs on soft going and expect her to take another step forward today.
TOWER OF SONG disappointed as favourite last time but he did have to work hard to find the lead and may have found it tough going up 200m at his second run from a break. Should be improved third-up and drawn to get a better run early.
ANTONIO GIUSEPPE is lightly raced but impressed with a hard finishing win at the midweeks and should be hitting his peak third-up.
SHARDS hasn't produced his best for some time and didn't do a lot first-up but if he can find something like his old form would give this a real shake.
PIRATE BEN did plenty of work in the run when out of the placings at this track and distance last start. Previous form good enough for this and gets significant weight relief.
SELECTIONS: No3 EXTENSIBLE, No4 Tower Of Song, No8 Antonio Giuseppe, No1 Shards VALUE RUNNER: No5 Pirate Ben
R3 1.20pm ST MARY’S RSL HANDICAP 1400m
EVACUATION (Best Bet) created a big impression when romping to a big maiden win at Kembla Grange on debut and was put aside for the spring. That was over 1000m on a good track and resumes at 1400m on a wet surface but he has impressively won two recent trials on rain affected tracks so expect he will be wound up enough for this.
SWEAR created a good impression on debut when running on hard to win a rich race at Hawkesbury at his only run. That was over 1300m so expect he will want this trip and more and he has had one trial to prepare for his return.
COCOEXCEL handled the heavy well when leading throughout to win her maiden on debut. Needs to take another step up today but has won a trial since that run.
PIPELINE overcame a wide run in transit to win at Wyong on debut before placing at Canterbury. Still scope for improvement and at least a place hope again.
BESIDE YOU (Best Roughie) has done everything right so far winning all three of her starts including when charging home to win a Highway Handicap at this track and distance last time. Hasn't raced on the heavy but her two wins this time have been on slow going and the good early speed should allow her to run on again.
LEAMI ASTRAY is lightly raced but shows good promise winning her first two runs then placing at both outings last campaign. Has little wet track form but expect she will be ready to go first-up.
SNIPPET OF HOPE has been consistent of late and all those runs have been on heavy or slow tracks so expect she can run well again in this.
FARAH doesn't win a lot but his lone career win came third up so he looks ready to peak.
ATLANTIC SENTINEL relished the blinkers going on to win a benchmark 54 comfortably at Canberra last start. 7kg weight drop after the claim brings him right in play.
SELECTIONS: No12 BESIDE YOU, No6 Leami Astray, No7 Snippet Of Hope, No10 Farah VALUE RUNNER: No12 Beside You
R5 2.30pm ON POINT LOCATING HANDICAP 1100m
The fast tempo in this race should set this up for ROSE OF MAN. She has charged home at her last couple to get close and this race looks to map perfectly for her. She has never missed a place at this course, has a good record at the distance and is suited back to mares grade after getting close to some talented males last time.
ALUCINARI raced just once last campaign but it resulted in a strong win in Listed race at Scone. The wet track is a concern but all three career wins have come at this distance and she should be ready to go fresh after a recent trial.
SHAHRAZAD wasn't too far away from Rose of Man last time and had won on the heavy track when resuming.
ALLEZ CHIVAL has placed at her last three in town, all on heavy tracks, and the inside gates suit her style of racing.
HIGHLY GEARED was just a run short finishing on the placegetters’ heels in a strong country race last start. All the better for the outing and worth including in the wider exotics from a good gate.
SELECTIONS: No9 ROSE OF MAN, No2 Alucinari, No7 Shahrazad, No4 Allez Chival VALUE RUNNER: No1 Our Harmony
R6 3.10pm RACING MATES HANDICAP 1200m
SNOOPY was a hot favourite when resuming and while he missed the place he was only beaten 0.3L in a blanket finish and didn't have the best of luck being held up in the straight. He has raced well second-up in the past, is two for two at this distance and won his only try on a heavy track so the fitness advantage could give him the edge over some of his main rivals on a testing surface.
SIR BACCHUS is a promising galloper who looked good last campaign winning his first two in similar grade to this. Untried on the heavy and unsure how wound up he will be off a single trial but is unbeaten at both the course and the distance.
HIS MAJESTY charged home to win well when resuming and his second-up form is also strong. Down in benchmark and although untried on heavy he races well on the soft.
HANDFAST showed talent winning a Listed race in the autumn but may be a fitness query first-up on a testing track.
ENCOSTANATI has hit his peak with his last two runs. Took an exceptional performance by the winner to run him down last start. In well at the weights after the claim and the 1200m suits. Definite winning chance again.
SELECTIONS: No9 SNOOPY, No4 Sir Bacchus, No2 His Majesty, No6 Handfast VALUE RUNNER: No8 Wild ‘n’ Famous
R7 3.50pm MTA RUN TO THE ROSE 1200m
STAR TURN always showed ability as a juvenile but looks to have put it all together now, judging by his strong resuming win in the San Domenico Stakes. That run gives him the fitness edge on some of his high-profile rivals and that could prove crucial on a testing track. Hasn't raced on the heavy but has won both of his runs on soft going.
EL DIVINO shaped as a potential topliner at his first campaign winning both runs including a dead heat win alongside race rival Astern. Those wins were on heavy and soft tracks and Hugh Bowman rides him for the first time in a race after he was aboard in two recent barrier trials.
ASTERN was a talented two-year old who has won both previous first-up runs and his only try on a wet track.
MEDITERRANEAN and IMPENDING both face a class test today but each has shown promise.
SELECTIONS: No4 STAR TURN, No3 El Divino, No1 Astern, No9 Mediterranean VALUE RUNNER: No1 Astern
R8 4.30pm PREMIER’S CUP 1900m
German import SINGING made a terrific start to his Australian career when he carried a big weight on a heavy track to be just nosed out over this distance. Hadn't raced for a year before that so will be much improved second-up with a handy 4kg drop in the weights.
ALLERGIC is somewhat underrated, mixing it in stakes company last campaign and scoring a strong win second up over 1800m at this course. Likes this course and should be nearing peak fitness third-up.
LOOPHOLE hasn't won for a while but his recent form is consistent and he can handle rain-affected tracks.
MAGIC HURRICANE is a class stayer who will be improved by a solid return to the races.
RULING DYNASTY put in a top run when resuming two runs back. The step up to 1900m is ideal and now looks ready to win.
SACRED MASTER has had no luck in his two Australian starts. Group 2 winner and Group 1 placed before crossing the Tasman and ready to do something at third run back from a break.
CANNYESCENT produced an eye-catcher when running on well for second to race rival Chetwood when resuming and meets him 4kg better today. He has always promised plenty and may be ready to deliver now that he has matured so should be suited by the extra 100m with the added fitness.
CHETWOOD isn't as well suited at the weights but he is a talent and did a good job in winning first-up. Gate one suits his style of racing and looks capable of taking another step forward.
WE'RE SURE charged home to win in the final stages at this course and distance last time. Will be giving them a start but won his only try on heavy going.
LABDIEN is another with good wet track form and has a touch of class so should be ready to peak third-up.
COOLCRAFT just a run short at Rosehill when resuming, before hitting the line strongly to win at Canterbury last start. Still scope for improvement at third run back from a 553-day break between races and a winning chance again.