The Blamey Stakes with the clash of stable-mates Black Heart Bart and Tosen Stardom dominate this post Australian Cup meeting. Trainer Darren Weir with four of the seven runners could easily claim the First Four in the race as he also saddles Palentino and Real Love.
The track should have no bias like last week when there was a strong bias to the inside as the track curator has admitted he made a blunder. The track is rated as a Good 3 with the rail at three metres. The weather will be sunny for a good race card.
QUADDIES (Races 6-7-8-9)
Skinny Play: 1,7,11 / 2,19,11 / 6,12 / 7,13,15
Wide Play: 1,2,5,6,7,8, 11 / 2,3,4,10,11 / 4,5,6,7,12,14,15 / 2,7,9,13,14,15
BEST BEST: R8 – 6 HELLOVA STREET
Next Best Bet: R9 – 7 PORTMAN
Best Roughie: R4 – 7 PERISTROPHE
No2 CATCH A FIRE Is a Team Hayes trained mare who will sport blinkers for the first time. Ran a solid fourth over 1100m here on March 4 and will be fitter here for that effort. Mark Zahra is the new rider.
No3 SHAKESPEAREAN LASS Was way out of her depth when finishing 12th in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25. She is back against her own sex here and will find it much easier.
No1 KANIANA Was a Group 3 winner at penultimate start before finishing seventh in the Group 2 Matriach Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 5. Brad Rawiller rides first-up and is an each-way chance.
No8 EUSTON ROAD Made a perfect debut for her new stable with a dominant win over 1200m against her own sex at Ballarat on March 8. She was backed from $18 into $10 that time and likes the straight.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 KANIANA
No7 BASTILLE Is a handsome son of Snitzel who posted an effortless win over 1200m at Sandown on March 1. He eased from $1.90 to $2.20 that day but demolished his opposition. This is a step up in class but respect.
No3 THEANSWERMYFRIEND Scored rave reviews with his win two starts ago before fighting hard to run second over 1400m here on March 4. He carries the same weight on 57kg but has a change of rider with Luke Nolen taking the reins.
No2 FLYING JESS Caused a massive boil-over when at $101 won the Gold Coast Guineas (1400m) at her last start on January 14. A repeat of that effort here first-up and she is worth watching. Jordan Childs is the new rider.
No5 VIOLATE Took a while to wind up into a finish but sound effort to run sixth in the Group 2 Zedative Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 25. That was first-up off a 119-day break and will strip fitter here.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 VIOLATE
No7 LEOTIE Can expect her to be burning up the turf down the straight. Class filly who is first-up here and has run well at her jump out. Mark Zahra is the new rider on this filly who won her maiden in fabulous style before going into the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) last spring.
No5 KENTUCKY MISS Can rebound after her eighth on a Heavy 10 in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Randwick on March 4. She is a Sydney trained filly brought here and will be racing on top of the ground this time. Respect.
No1 SWORD OF LIGHT Ran a cracking first-up race to finish second down the straight 1100m on March 4. Damian Lane is replaced by Luke Nolen and she carries the same weight on 57kg under the set-weight conditions here.
No6 MERRIEST Has caused upsets in the past like when she undid WA filly Whispering Brook’s unbeaten record in the Atlantic Jewel last spring. She has a smart record first-up and can give cheek here with the right run.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 SWORD OF LIGHT
No4 GARRARD Is elevated straight into stakes class after her emphatic win in a 1000m maiden at Bendigo on February 28. She won that day as a $1.45 favourite and meets her own age and sex here under set-weights.
No1 ARCTIC ANGEL Did not pull up too well after her sojourn to Sydney where she ran second in the Group 2 Sweet Embrace (1200m) at Randwick on February 25. She is back home and has Chris Symons riding.
No8 SHOALS Well-bred filly who was given a soft kill at Seymour when romping home by four-lengths in a 1100m maiden on February 21. She gets top jockey Mark Zahra to ride for her rise in class at her second start.
No7 PERISTROPHE (BEST ROUGHIE) Was given an icy cold ride when settled last before storming home to run second over 1200m at Launceston on February 22. Is from an astute punting stable and will sport blinkers for the first time here.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 PERISTROPHE
No6 TOSEN STARDOM Japanese galloper who went within a breath of catching Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 25. She will relish the extra distance and makes good appeal here.
No1 BLACK HEART BART Has been on a winning rampage and gives trainer Darren Weir a super hand in this race saddling Tosen Stardom, Real Love and Palentino in a seven-horse field. Weir could claim the first four here easily.
No3 HE OR SHE Is a class galloper and he won impressively first-up from a spell over 1400m in a Group 3 here on March 4. Mark Zahra replaces Stephen Baster, but the slow speed could be against him as no natural leader.
No4 SIR ISAAC NEWTON Has not run since running a great seventh to Jameka in last year’s Caulfield Cup (2400m). He has a good first-up record and the Northern Hemisphere galloper has been gelded during his time off. Respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 SIR ISAAC NEWTON
No1 HURSLEY Had little luck last week over 1800m here when got entangled in the field to finish a strong second to Aloft. Jumps up from 54kg to 61kg but has heavyweight rider Brad Rawiller to steer and carries weight.
No11 WHEAL LEISURE Is a lightly-raced three-year-old filly who stormed home in the Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) to run a smart third on February 19. She carries no weight here on 53kg and if she repeats must rank highly.
No7 GERVAIS Is a very reliable galloper at this track. He has the blinkers taken off here and with apprentice Ben Allen’s 1.5kg claim will drop to 56.5kg. Ran third over 1700m here at his last start on February 18.
No6 WAXING With Mitchell Aitken’s 3kg claim his weight is down to 55.5kg and he is rock hard after weaving through the field to run sixth over 1800m here last Saturday to Aloft. Will have supporters at longer odds.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 WAXING
No10 CHATEAU CHEVAL Defied a betting drift from $3.90 to $5 to beat a smart field over 1200m at Sandown at his last start on February 22. Drawn well and is out of the in-form stable of Team Hayes and has to be respected.
No11 VERSTAPPEN Was steady in the betting throughout first-up when running second over 1200m at Moonee Valley on February 24. Craig Williams rode at 57.5kg that night but drops to 54kg here with apprentice Ben Allan’s 1.5kg claim. Lightly-raced has heaps of upside. Commands respect.
No4 RICH CHARM Loves this distance and track. He is fresh after having won at Caulfield over 1200m on January 26. He leapfrogs up to 60.5kg here from 57kg last start but has a rock solid record and worth thought.
No2 STAVIVA Has an excellent first-up record on five starts for three wins. Was given two trials to have him fit for this assignment. Ben Thompson’s 2kg claim helps with his impost dropped to 59.5kg and is a good odds.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 STAVIVA
No6 HELLOVA STREET (BEST BET) Has proven an ultra-consistent galloper and he scored a good win in the Mowbray Stakes (1600m) at Launceston at his last start on February 22. He gets 56.5kg and a new rider with Dean Hollands taking the reins for his second start at this track. He looks well suited in this race to win again.
No12 STELLAR COLLISION Won the Apache Cat in good style but is a query over the trip.
No5 HAZZABEEL Has an outstanding second-up record and great effort in the Apache Cat.
No7 JESSY BELLE Has won here and has a solid first-up record. Will be pounding home.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 HAZZABEEL
No7 PORTMAN (NEXT BEST BET) Loves this track and distance. If he had jumped clean last start he would have won but had to settle for second over 1600m here on March 4. With Ben Allen’s claim he will carry 57.5kg, which is up on the 54kg he carried last start but is still a comfortable weight and he is drawn well in gate six.
No9 STRIKE FORCE Form at Moonee Valley has been top shelf. First start here.
No13 I BOOGI Chasing a hat-trick after smart country wins and would respect.
No15 LOST COMMAND Smart mare with a good record of two wins and three seconds at seven starts.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 STRIKE FORCE