MR DASHING (BEST BET) is a son of Moshe, who has won at his two starts by a total margin of eight lengths. He returns here from a maiden campaign at Geelong where he excelled on the synthetic track and looks set to continue his formidable form here. James Mott keeps the ride on the three-year-old gelding, who does go up in weight to 60kg from 57.5kg at his last start. He meets only a field of six here and looks one of the best bets on this card.
SICKENING (NEXT BEST BET) made a perfect start to his new career with a brilliant 1 ¼ length win over 1300m in a maiden at Geelong on November 5. The son of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking strikes a thin field here on talent so he can take the next step despite being at $12 at his debut. He hails from the all-powerful Darren Weir camp and with apprentice Ben Allen’s 2kg claim will carry 57.5kg in a field of eight runners.
SELECTIONS: No3 SICKENING, No2 Turfonic, No6 Timeless Style, No7 Taylah’s Secret.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 Timeless Style.
R3 2.30pm SCHWEPPES HANDICAP 1300m
EMPHATICALLY won as her name suggests by 4 ¾ lengths over 1200m in a maiden at Swan Hill on November 7. She was backed into a white-hot $1.45 favourite that day and she will be a bit more value here but not a lot.
SWEET VARDEN is an Adelaide filly who comes to Melbourne off a last-start win over 1200m in a maiden at Morphettville on October 22. Leading apprentice Michael Dee rides and his 1.5kg allowance reduces her impost to 58.5kg.
MISS IANO sprinted home strongly to post her maiden win over 1200m at Mornington on November 8. She was steady in the betting at $5.50 that day and has Noel Callow to ride again. She does go up 3kg to 60kg though.
SOHO RUBY posted an emphatic win over 1312m against her own sex in a maiden at Geelong on November 13. Patrick Maloney keeps the ride but she does jump from 57kg to 59kg for her four-length victory.
SELECTIONS: No1 EMPHATICALLY, No2 Sweet Varden, No4 Miss Iano, No5 Soho Ruby.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 Miss Iano.
R4 3pm MOOROOKYLE PARK STUD PLATE 1800m
ERECTOR relished the extra ground to run home well for second place over 1740m in a maiden at Sale on November 15. He is by Mastercraftsman, so the extra ground here is going to be right up his alley and Thomas Sadler again rides.
ITCHICOO PARK claimed his first pay cheque in five starts when he ran third over 1400m at Bendigo on November 9. He is rock hard and has the services again of top jockey Michael Walker, but the draw (16) is a setback.
PULL THE RIPCORD has been honest without winning. Claimed second place over 1400m at Pakenham on October 20 when ridden by apprentice Ben Allen last start. Luke Currie takes the ride here and makes appeal.
SO BELLE was specked in the betting from $16 into $12 before finishing fourth over 1500m in a maiden at Bendigo on November 9. Did not have much luck and gets a change of rider, with Stephen Baster on top.
SELECTIONS: No2 ERECTOR, No3 Itchicoo Park, No5 Pull The Ripcord, No15 So Belle.
VALUE RUNNER: No15 So Belle.
R5 3.30pm POLYTRACK HANDICAP 1800m
YOGI won first-up at Ballarat as a warm favourite off a long spell. Was sent out a $2.30 favourite but ran second over 1600m at second start this campaign. Jack Hill rides here but he will need an ounce of luck from gate (15).
GEE ONE EXPRESS was doing his best work in the closing metres when finishing sixth over 1411m first-up at Sale on November 4. Again weighted on 59kg but with Brandon Stockdale’s 3kg claim will carry 56kg. Will strip fitter.
STORMY SHORE was a big drifter from $4.40 to $8 before finishing second in a cluster finish over 1900m at Traralgon on October 29. Daniel Moor rides again but has a tricky draw (12). The barrier draw makes this race open.
CONCUBINE made steady ground between runners when finishing ninth over 1700m at Flemington on November 3. Previous start scored a brilliant win at Ballarat and with Dylan Dunn’s 1.5kg allowance will carry 57kg here.
SELECTIONS: No8 YOGI, No2 Gee One Express, No13 Stormy Shore, No6 Concubine.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 Stormy Shore.
R6 4pm LADBROKES UP FOR THE CHALLENGE HANDICAP 1400m
CHAMPAGNE READY has Singapore Cup winning jockey Craig Williams as the new rider. Ran a great third over 1700m at Flemington on November 3 when steady in the market at $7.50. Most consistent mare, who has been placed at five of her six starts.
SPERANTA is a four-year-old mare who won at Ballarat before running third over 1400m at Geelong on November 5. Ben Allen’s 2kg claim will reduce her handicap to 55kg and she did win at Ballarat over 1406m two starts ago so would pay to keep her safe.
MAI THAI (BEST ROUGHIE) faces racing on top of the ground here after finishing third on a Heavy 10 at Donald on November 13. With apprentice Jordan Childs’ 1.5kg claim will carry 54.5kg and makes appeal as a lightweight chance.
ADALITA posted an impressive 2 ¾ length win over 1200m at Pakenham on November 10. Jockey Jake Noonan rides again and only goes up a half kilo to 57.5kg. Drawn perfectly on the rail for a soft run here.
SELECTIONS: No7 CHAMPAGNE READY, No10 Speranta, No11 Mai Thai, No6 Adalita.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 Mai Thai.
R7 4.30pm LE PINE FUNERALS HANDICAP 1800m
SWEET MELODY was kept safe in the betting at $4.80 when she ran second over 1600m here on November 16. Top jockey Brad Rawiller again rides and she has the same weight on 57.5kg.
BAUBO is a Sydney mare from the stables of Chris Waller. She comes here off a third at Kembla Grange over 1600m on November 1. Melbourne jockey Ben Melham rides the four-year-old here.
LOVEITT was aimed far too high when finishing 13th to the talented mare Silent Sedition in a Group 3 here on November 12. Apprentice Michael Dee’s 1.5kg claim reduces her impost to 58.5kg.
HONEY CARA is racing in good form and finished right on the heels of the major placegetters when fourth to Tavi Bay over 1700m at Flemington on November 3. Ben Allen’s 2kg claim reduces her weight to 55.5kg.
SELECTIONS: No4 SWEET MELODY, No7 Baubo, No1 Loveitt, No3 Honey Cara.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 Baubo.
R8 5pm THEBIGSCREENCOMPANY.COM.AU HANDICAP 1300m
DU SUMPENT ran home strong after botching the start and makes strong appeal here on second over 1300m at Bendigo on November 9. Ben Allen’s 2kg claim sees him carry 56.5kg here.
ROMAN FIZZ scored a narrow win for jockey Matthew Allen over 1200m as a $5 favourite on November 10 at Pakenham. Gets a two kilo rise in weight to 59.5kg here but makes appeal.
GRAND EMPEROR gets in with claims here with apprentice Beau Mertens’ 2kg claim reducing his impost to 58kg. He is another runner from the leading stables of Darren Weir and is race fit.
LAND OF FREEDOM was a big drifter from $5 to $9.50 before finishing a close second over 1100m at Bendigo on November 9. Was struck over the head by another rider’s whip and has Stephen Baster to ride.
SELECTIONS: No6 DU SUMPENT, No5 Roman Fizz, No2 Grand Emperor, No11 Land Of Freedom.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 Grand Emperor.