This is a very hard meeting to find a winner with big fields and very even competition on a massive 10-race card after last Saturday’s wash-out here when the last three races were abandoned due to the inclement weather.
The false rail will be put out to four metres and a Good 4 is tipped.
The weather forecast is bleak with rain for Good Friday and fine but cool with a maximum on 18C for Saturday.
QUADDIES (races 7,8,9,10)
Skinny Play: 2,3,11 / 3,6,7 / 2,6 /8,15 / 1,3,16,18
Wide Play: 2,3,7,8,12,16 / 2,3,4,6,7,9,12 / 1,2,4,6,8,10,11,12,15,16 / 1,3,5,11,12,16,18
BEST BET: R8 – 7. HELLOVA STREET
Next Best Bet: R10 – 3. FRENCH EMOTION
Best Roughie: R3 – 3. SPREADEAGLED
No1 YULONG BABY has got apprentice Jordan Grob’s 3kg claim to reduce her impost to 58.5kg. She had a solid trial when finishing third over 1550m at Cranbourne on April 3 for this. Respect.
No8 QUILATE ran a handy seventh over 1400m at Bendigo on April 1. She gets the in-form Beau Mertens to ride and with his 1.5kg claim will carry 52.5kg. Won her prior start at Sandown and makes appeal.
No5 MA JONES comes here off a very clever win over 1600m at Tatura on March 19. Gets Ben Allen to ride and with his 1.5kg allowance 54.5kg. She makes a sound case in an open race.
No6 STELLA ETOILE gets the homegrown Tasmanian boy Craig Newtitt to ride at her stint in Melbourne after posting two good wins on the Apple Isle. She has no weight on 55kg and is drawn perfectly to make an impact.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 YULONG BABY
No5 MANY REWARDS is by Victoria’s leading sire Reward For Effort and gave a great sight to coast to an easy win over 800m in a trial at Cranbourne on March 6. Has been kept fresh for this and respect in an open affair.
No6 PREMIO MOMENTO may have peaked late and will strip fitter here on debut third over 1100m in a maiden at Wangaratta on March 31. Has a great draw on the rail and gets Michael Dee as the new rider.
No2 DIVINE RED showed enough at his sole trial to run on into third place over 800m at Cranbourne on April 3 to warrant. Daniel Stackhouse sticks to this New Zealand bred colt and he rates well.
No4 HOVE ACTUALLY is a beautifully bred son of Redoute’s Choice who trialled well when finishing second over 1000m at Tatura on March 20. He is from Victoria’s premier juvenile yard and will wear a lugging bit at his debut.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 DIVINE RED
No12 FIRSTHAND is a lightly-raced galloper who has a smart record of three wins and a third at five starts. He is resuming here after having two trials in Sydney, latest finishing fourth over 900m at Rosehill on April 10.
No11 STAR STEALER worked home very well to claim third place over 1100m at Bendigo on April 1. Gets a change of rider with Ben Allen taking the reins and his 1.5kg claim reducing his weight to 56.5kg. The gate (17) is of a concern.
No5 CHASE THE HORIZON has a good record at this track and resumes here off a great campaign where he snared two straight wins last campaign. Was warmed up with a trial where he ran third over 990m at Cranbourne on April 3.
No3 SPREADEAGLED (BEST ROUGHIE) was specked in the market from $9 into $7.50 before finishing strongly to run third over 1200m at Mornington on March 29. Gets Ben Thompson’s 2kg claim to reduce his weight to 59kg here.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 SPREADEAGLED
No2 ANOTHER COLDIE chasing a third straight win after rampaging through Morphettville with wins over 1250m and 1300m as one of the main fancies. With Ben Allen’s 1.5kg claim drops to 56.5kg and can continue.
No1 THROSSELL rebounded back into top gear with an effortless win over 1400m at Pakenham on March 23. With Mitchell Aitken’s 3kg drops down to 57kg here and looks capable of repeating the dose. Barrier 12 is a nuisance.
No6 SO POYSED will sport blinkers after finishing fourth over 1400m at Bendigo on April 1. Jamie Mott rides again and he drops a kilo to 55kg here. Capable of finishing in the mix here and is an each-way chance.
No7 JUST HIFALUTIN is a nicely bred type who has an impeccable record of two from two. Latest won over 1200m at Pakenham on March 30. Gets Jake Bayliss’ 2kg claim to reduce his weight to 52kg. Gate 13 is a setback.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 SO POYSED
No8 OVERSTEP was easy in the betting before finishing third down the straight 1100m at Flemington on March 18. She drops a kilo to 54kg here and meets her own age and sex again. Craig Newitt keeps the ride.
No3 MERRIEST has been a giant-killer in the past. Latest was warmed up with a solid trial to run second over 800m at Cranbourne on April 3. She has speed and can overcome her wide alley in nine. Has admirers.
No16 ARTEMIS ROSE is making her Melbourne debut after breaking the ice over 1000m at Hawkesbury on March 13. Gets top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn to steer but she does have a setback jumping from gate 13.
No9 SOVIET SECRET was spelled after she ran last in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas over 1600m on November 12. She won at her prior start and will have the blinkers fitted back on again here. Has some appeal.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 MERRIEST
No1 BOOM TIME gets a nice break here after racing in the top grade. Latest ran a smart fifth in the Mornington Cup (2400m) on March 25. Gets some weight relief with Beau Mertens’ 1.5kg claim reducing his impost to 58.5kg.
No3 HANS HOLBEIN is a British import who won impressively at Bendigo over 2400m on April 1. Gets a riding change with Andrew Mallyon replacing Brad Rawiller and will drop from 61kg to 54.5kg. Good appeal.
No6 SELF SENSE ran a great sixth in the Mornington Cup (2400m) at his last start on March 25. Gets a change of rider with Craig Newitt replacing Chris Symons and will again have no weight on 54.4kg here.
No4 DE LITTLE ENGINE is always a force over these distances. Latest ran a solid sixth over 3200m in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup at Morphettville on March 13. Daniel Moor rides again and carries 54.5kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 DE LITTLE ENGINE
No11 MISS GUNPOWDER is having her first start for Team Hayes. Was prepared in Adelaide by Phil Stokes. She has a lugging bit on and the tongue tie removed and has been firing up on the jump out track.
No8 HEZA RIPPER drops significantly in class on her last-start sixth in the Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington on March 25. With apprentice Mitchell Aitken’s 3kg claim she carries 54kg, but the gate (16) is a setback.
No2 TSHAHITSI is a Tasmanian galloper who gave a good effort when romping home by over 3-lengths in a 900m trial at Hobart on April 4. With Boris Thornton’s 3kg claim drops down to 56.5kg here.
No3 SEBRING SUN bounced back into top gear with a fighting win over 1100m at Bendigo on April 1. With apprentice Ben Allen’s 1.5kg claim he will carry 57.5kg but has a wide alley in 13.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 HEZA RIPPER
No7 HELLOVA STREET (BEST BET) scored a dominant win over 1400m at Flemington at his last start. He goes into this race with a half-kilo less on 56kg and gets regular rider David Pires back on board. This Tasmanian galloper is racing in peak form and makes very strong appeal on what is a difficult day for best bets.
No9 ROCKET COMMANDER is a Canberra-trained mare who should appreciate running on top of the ground.
No3 HOOKED drops down from Group 1 class and did trial well recently.
No6 CHARMED HARMONY hails from a punting stable and has been specked early.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 CHARMED HARMONY
No6 TOM MELBOURNE has been difficult but does have plenty of ability. He could be ready to show here after racing away to a 5-length win over 1550m in a trial at Cranbourne on April 3. Drop 3.5kg to 55.5kg on prior start.
No8 DARK EYES is the reigning Canberra Cup (2000m) winner and better suited here after running 11th in the Mornington Cup (2400m) on March 25. Has won at three of past five starts and pay to have a look.
No1 LEEBAZ will be suited better here on top of the ground. He will relish his drop in class after striking a Heavy 9 when unplaced in the Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill on March 25. Has claims.
No15 ZASORCERESS struck a bog track when finishing fifth in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood (2000m) at Rosehill on March 25. Back on top of the ground here and with Dean Yendall to ride on 54kg would respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No15 ZASORCERESS
No3 FRENCH EMOTION (NEXT BEST BET) was a hot favourite before the race was called off last Saturday here. She relished the return to firm going with a strong second in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) against her own sex at Moonee Valley on March 21. She gets Craig Newitt to ride on 58kg and has a good record at this track.
No1 GREAT ESTEEM nearly won the Toorak Handicap last spring. He ran a great third over 1600m at Morphettville on March 13.
No16 PLOT THE COURSE is far fitter now with two runs under belt and respect.
No18 SHARDS has changed yards from Godolphin to Team Hayes and pay to watch.
VALUE RUNNER: No18 SHARDS