This is a tough meeting for punters with even and competitive fields set to fight out the eight-race card. The weather has been heating up and it will be warm in the low 30's. The rail is back to the true position for the first time since January 18. So that is a nice fresh pad on the fence and makes it most interesting. The track is rated as a Good 4.
QUADDIES (Races 5-6-7-8)
Skinny Play: 1,3 / 2,4,13 / 3,4 / 1,6,9
Wide Play: 1,3,4,,5 / 2,4,5,9,10,13 / 3,4,8,9 / 1,2,6,7,8,9,10
BEST BEST: R5 – 3. THUNDER CONNECTION
Next Best Bet: R6 – 2. GOOD OH
Best Roughie: R6 – 15. JUST VICTORIA
No10 THUNDER CLOUD Hails from the leading stables of Darren Weir and has been knocking at the door. Latest was heavily backed into a $1.85 favourite when running second over 1600m at Ballarat on March 7.
No11 ROCK GISELLE Is a well-bred filly who has run well at her two starts this campaign. Latest finished second over 1400m against her own sex at Pakenham on March 2. She drops 1.5kg to 56kg here.
No9 MUTIN Got the blows when eased from $2.20 to $4.20 before finishing third over 1200m here on March 1. Hails from a top stable and would respect here.
No4 ROCKSETTA Is a well-bred four-year-old who made a solid return to finish third over 1400m at Werribee on February 24. Should strip far fitter off that run here.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 ROCKSETTA
No4 APIATA Gets a big drop in class here on last-start seventh in the Group 3 Zedative Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 25. Drawn for a soft run in gate one, but does jump 4kg to 59kg.
No10 GOLD FONTEIN Has proven to be reliable and on last start when running third over 1200m here on February 22 must rate. Mark Zahra keeps the ride on the four-year-old mare and she carries 58.5kg.
No5 SANDHURST DELIGHT Won first up at Yarra Valley before finishing a solid fourth over 1200m at Seymour on February 21. Ace jockey Dwayne Dunn is the new rider and hails from a leading yard.
No1 HEZA DUDE Been a consistent money-spinner and gets his chance again on his second over 1200m here on March 1. Top apprentice Ben Allen’s 1.5kg claim reduces his impost to 60kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 HEZA DUDE
No6 LADY EFFORT Ran a very good second here over 1300m against her own sex on February 22. She strikes a similar field here and only goes up a half-kilo to 57.5kg. Mark Zahra keeps the ride.
No5 QUILATE Is back in her right class here after being elevated to Group 3 company where she ran seventh at Flemington on March 4. With apprentice Beau Mertens’ 2kg claim she will carry 56kg.
No7 FIFE Will have Craig Williams returning from suspension to ride her. She was a fair run when finishing seventh over 1519m at Moonee Valley first-up on February 10. Is from an astute stable.
No9 AJUDA Won here before heading to Moonee Valley where she ran a sound sixth over 1500m on February 24. She drops from 59kg to 56.5kg here and makes appeal.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 AJUDA
No3 INSPIRED ESTELLE Should appreciate her drop back in class here and running over the metric mile. Latest ran a strong fourth when at $31 in a Group 3 at Caulfield on February 25. Makes appeal.
No6 NETHERFIELD Stablemate to Inspired Estelle and has won and finished second at her two starts. She broke the ice with a three-length win in a maiden over 1400m at Terang on March 2.
No10 SO BELLE Has been racing in peak form and was a good effort when running third here over 1600m off an 80-day break on March 1. Katelyn Mallyon rides again and she carries 54.5kg.
No2 FOX HALL Hails from the Group 1 winning yard of Tony McEvoy and he is chasing a hat-trick here. Latest won with a leg in the air over 1400m at Morphettville on February 25. Chance on his last effort.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 SO BELLE
No3 THUNDER CONNECTION (BEST BET) Refused to surrender and fought all the way to the wire when running second over 2500m here on March 2. That was off a 29-day gap and would expect to be far fitter here for his romp over 3000m. Luke Currie rides again and he carries the same weight on 56kg. He is a model of consistency.
No5 BAYANOVA Has been racing well and she is as tough as tungsten steel.
No7 AMORTISE Ran a solid second over 3065m last time and has no weight.
No1 RENEW Beau Mertens’ 2kg claim sees him drop 2kg to 56kg
VALUE RUNNER: No1 RENEW
No2 GOOD OH (NEXT BEST BET) Was a heavily backed galloper when firmed from $8 into $5.50 before winning at debut here over 1200m in a maiden on March 1. Craig Williams is sticking to the filly who had to fight hard to earn her stripes and land the plunge. She beat a couple of handy types and would expect her to be hard to beat.
No4 HURRY Is a staying bred Kiwi mare making her Australian debut. Respect.
No13 FASTBROOK Eligible for easier but is racing super well.
No15 JUST VICTORIA (BEST ROUGHIE) Liked her big maiden win and is at juicy odds.
VALUE RUNNER: No15 JUST VICTORIA
No3 SULLIVAN BAY Showed plenty of courage to fight to the wire when headed and ran second over 1300m here on February 22. Before that won at Morphettville in good fashion and rates highly on 58kg.
No4 THIS KID ROCKS Has been on a winning rampage and searches for a fourth straight win here. Latest won with 56.5kg at Morphettville on February 25. Ben Allen’s 1.5kg claim sees him carry 56.5kg again.
No1 SPREADEAGLED Hails from an astute betting stable and was given a nice warm up for this with a sixth over 800m in a trial; at Cranbourne on March 6. Jordan Childs’ 1.5kg claims reduces his impost to 59.5kg.
No8 CHAMOIS ROAD Was plunged into a $1.80 favourite and did not disappoint his backers when tearing away to a clever win over 1300m at Seymour on February 21. Drops to 54kg with Mitch Aitken’s claim
VALUE RUNNER: No1 SPREADEAGLED
No9 DANCING HARE Is a lovely bred filly who looks to be a bona fide stayer. Gave a good effort first-up to run sixth over 1600m here on February 22. Premier jockey Craig Williams sticks to this three-year-old.
No1 STELLARIZED Has blown his opposition apart at his past two starts. Latest posted a 1 ¾ length win over 2000m at Ballarat on February 19. Jordan Childs’ 1.5kg claim reduces his impost to 60.5kg but is a bit of weight.
No6 WINSTON LEGACY Has looked honest on provincial tracks and does get top jockey Dwayne Dunn to ride here. Latest ran on well to run third over 2060m at Cranbourne. Goes up 3kg to 58.5kg.
No8 PRINCESS ARIA Is a NSW mare making a raid here. She fought on okay last start to run fourth over 2000m at Hawkesbury on February 9. Michael Dee takes the ride and she should be prominent in running.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 PRINCESS ARIA