This looks to be a most competitive night meeting with a strong card on hand. The cooler weather this week has been most welcomed and there are some interesting races with emerging types versus some established ones. Good card and keep a close eye on betting moves in the two-year-old race (Race 1). The track is rated a Good 4 with the rail back at the True position. The weather is fine for a perfect night of thoroughbred entertainment.
No 3 MURAAQEB Is a beautifully bred colt making his debut. The son of champion sprinting sire Snitzel has not trialled but he is from the State’s No.1 two-year-old yard this season and has top jockey Mark Zahra riding.
No 4 SAM’S IMAGE Has drawn wide in gate 12 but comes here off a last-start maiden win over 1100m at Ballarat on February 12. He is on the quick back up, but he did win very well.
No 5 SCUDTIME Has been kept under wraps since he struck a heavy 8 track and floundered on the soft in a trial back in September. He has drawn well and has been backed in from $34 into $10.
No 7 BALLE D’OR Is the early $4.80 favourite on her last-start sixth in a Group 3 at Caulfield on February 4. She was placed third at her sole start here two starts ago and pay to respect in lower grade.
VALUE RUNNER: No 5 SCUDTIME
No 8 BARTHELONA Copped a check at the 200m before finishing 14th over 1100m at Flemington last start on January 28. Gets an important riding change with Damian Lane the new rider and has been backed in early betting.
No 2 STAR STEALER Received support being backed into $6.50 before posting a fighting win over 1000m here on January 27. Ben Allen keeps the ride and his 2kg claim reduces his weight to 58kg, which is a half kilo less than last time.
No 3 DANCE WITH FONTEIN Loves this track and ran well when finishing second over 955m here on February 3. Apprentice Beau Mertens’ 2kg claim reduces her weight to a winnable 56.5kg and sure to be in firing line.
No 5 LEODORO Has been in sparkling form with two wins and a second at three starts this preparation. With Ethan Brown’s 3kg claim he will carry just 55.5kg and from barrier four should get a sweet run throughout.
VALUE RUNNER: No 3 DANCE WITH FONTAINE
No 3 RED ALTO The betting suggests this is a two horse race between Red Alto and Rich Luck. This bloke is chasing a hat-trick and has the barrier in his favour (2) after his big win at Pakenham on February 9. He does rise 2.5kg to 59.5kg.
No 4 RICH LUCK Is also chasing down a hat-trick following his 1 ½ length win over 1440m at Geelong on January 29. He too rises 2.5kg to 59.5kg but he has a wide alley in gate nine to combat.
No 2 SNITZELWOOD (Best Roughie) Showed his prowess over the distances last campaign stringing together wins over the long journeys before being spelled. He is from a top stable and will be running on most strongly at the end.
No 5 CORAM Fought hard to run a close second over 1519m here on February 3. Stays on the same weight on 56.5kg and has Mark Zahra staying loyal and expect to be well fancied again in betting.
VALUE RUNNER: No 2 SNITZELWOOD
No 2 LADY ESPRIT (BEST BET) Was held up at a critical time when running sixth in a classier race over 1000m at Caulfield on February 4. Craig Williams rode on 54kg and will have Mark Zahra here on 59.5kg because of the drop in class. She had easily won at her previous two starts at this track and looks a safe bet here.
No 3 AUNTY MO New campaign and fresh horse so can make amends for last time.
No 6 PANTHERESS Had a tough run last start and would give one more chance.
No 7 MOTOWN LIL Elevated sharply in class last campaign and goes well fresh.
VALUE RUNNER: No 6 PANTHERESS
No 7 ROSE AHEAD Red hot jockey Craig Williams sticks to this filly after her fourth to Private Lounge over 1200m at Sandown on February 1. She won a maiden at Werribee at her debut the start beforehand.
No 10 LARAPINETA Two runs at Canterbury this campaign have been solid. Hails from the top yard of Team Hawkes and will have Michael Walker to ride at her debut at this track. Keep safe.
No12 SUNDELL Despite being big odds, it was a winner last start after running 3rd first up. Will be bang on with fitness, and can upset the apple cart
VALUE RUNNER: No12 SUNDELL
No 8 NORTHWEST PASSAGE Gets the chance to dictate from the front after posting wins in the Hobart Guineas and Tasmanian Derby. He has won four and been placed third once at his five starts and respect here.
No 9 SWEET MELODY Is one of three stayers lining up for the all-powerful Darren Weir stable. She was a brilliant winner over 2400m at Sandown on February 1 and she gets Group 1 winning hoop Damian Lane to ride on 54kg, which is down two kilos on her last win.
No 1 CHANCE TO DANCE Irish bred gelding who scored a fighting win over 2400m at Caulfield on February 4. He is from an astute punting stable and has Ben Melham to ride again on the same weight on 58kg.
No 2 MASTER OF ARTS Is a dour stayer who has been most reliable and is race fit. Finished strongly to claim fourth place over 2000m at Flemington last start on January 28. Brad Rawiller rides on 57kg here and would respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No 2 MASTER OF ARTS
No 3 ROMAN FIZZ Forget his last start when the saddle slipped and he took no competitive part in the race at Sale on February 5. Go on his previous brilliant form here and at Caulfield and expect a big showing.
No 14 CANNYESCENT Is a former NSW sprinter having his first start for Team Hayes. Has built a good reputation with two wins and a second at seven starts and has an excellent record of two wins and a second at three starts fresh.
No 1 MR INDIVIDUAL Was elevated to Group 1 class last spring but found the pressure up front too hot. Not raced since September 30 when finishing unplaced but prior form was top. Beau Mertens’ claim reduces his weight to 61kg.
No 8 LABUAN STAR Is a lightly raced stallion who gets a nice weight decrease after carrying 59.5kg to win at Pakenham over 1200m on February 2. With Ben Allen’s 2kg claim will carry 55.5kg here.
VALUE RUNNER: No 8 LABUAN STAR
No 2 MOSSBEAT (NEXT BEST BET) Is a seasoned five-year-old mare racing in excellent fashion. Latest brained her rivals by 1 ½ lengths over 1200m here on February 23. She has the almost perfect record of two starts for a win and a second on this track. She does ride 2kg to 59kg but has Michael Walker to compensate her. Can repeat.
No 7 TURBO MISS Ultra-reliable and will make presence felt here.
No 3 DEJA BLUE Racing full of enthusiasm and bears respect again.
No 4 SHADES OF BELLA Looks to be close to claiming her best form and keep safe.
VALUE RUNNER: No 3 DEJA BLUE