The false rail is stretched out an extra three metres to six metres on the last time they raced here on May 20.
The track surface is predicted to be perfect with a Good 4 forecast.
The weather will be chilly with a maximum on 14C forecast after an overnight minimum on 5C.
There will be cloud overhead making for a dull day.
However, the sparks will be flying on the track with Beau Mertens chasing his first jockeys’ premiership and premier trainer Darren Weir seeking to extend the number of winners for what is already a record-breaking season for the country-based stable.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 2,4,12 / 6,7,13,16 / 1,3,5,9 / 2,6,10,11
Wide Play: 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,12 / 1,2,6,7,9,13,15,16 / 1,3,4,5,6,7,9 / 2,4,5,6,10,11,14,18
BEST BET: R8 – 5. OVERSTEP
Next Best Bet: R2 – 1. SAMOVARE
Best Roughie: R5 – 4. ORMITO
No2 LONE EAGLE was well backed from $5.50 into $4.60 before finishing a good second over 1200m at Sandown on May 27. That was his debut and should take enhancement from the outing. He has Damien Oliver to steer again and respect here.
No6 ROYAL PHOENIX eased from $4.40 to $6.60 before finishing fourth over 1000m at his debut at Moonee Valley on January 27. James Winks replaces Dwayne Dunn at his second start here and he romped in a jump out at Flemington recently.
No10 SIA she did an outstanding job to beat older fillies and mares at her debut in an 1100m maiden at Geelong on May 16. She is back against her own age here and gets Stephen Baster replacing the injured Regan Bayliss. She won’t be at prohibitive odds this time ($1.40) and keep a good watch.
No1 ANDAZ has had one start for one win. Waller doesn't take them south if he doesn't think they're decent. Respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 ROYAL PHOENIX
No1 SAMOVARE (NEXT BEST BET) is a WA filly having her first start for Team Hayes. Team Hayes won the Group 1 Goodwood with WA feature race winning import Vega Magic first-up last month. This filly won the Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) and she was warmed up with a win over 1000m in a trial at Tatura on May 15. She will wear a lugging bit for the first time and has champion WA-born jockey Damian Oliver to steer at her Melbourne debut.
No8 SWAMPLAND has been charging home over the shorter courses and respect.
No11 MISS SISKA most solid first-up performance and will take improvement from the effort.
No2 PEDRENA consistent horse that hasn't missed a placing this campaign. She'll be hard to hold out here.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 MISS SISKA
No1 HUSSON EAGLE will go well fresh and loves the short courses. Last raced on May 6 when finishing a sound third over the 1000m straight. He struck a smart type in the winner Crystal Dreamer that day and was working home very well. The in-form Ryan Maloney is the new rider.
No2 SANTA ANA LANE ran a cracking fifth to Vega Magic in the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 20. Gets a big drop in class here and does pay the penalty rising 4kg to 60kg, but will appreciate the easier opposition. Must respect on his last-start effort.
No5 O’MALLEY was on the inside rail when the outside dominated finishing seventh to Crystal Dreamer down the straight-1000m here on May 6. He gets premierships title chasing apprentice Beau Mertens’ 1.5kg claim to reduce his weight to 55.5kg.
No4 MILITARY REIGN is a high-flying speedster from Western Australian making her Melbourne debut down the Flemington straight. She ran a cracking second to Rock Magic in the Roma Cup (1200m) at Belmont on May 20. With Mitchell Aitken’s 3kg claim carries 54.5kg. She has claims.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 O’MALLEY
No5 GOATHLAND is an Irish import who will have benefitted from his third to Grand Dancer over 2400m at Sandown on May 27. He gets ace apprentice Beau Mertens’ 1.5kg claim to reduce his weight to 52.5kg here and he did win over this trip back in December. He is fit and ready now.
No8 UNFURL returns to Melbourne from his third in the Port Adelaide Cup (2500m) on May 20. Dean Yendall rode that day but Michael Dee takes the reins here for leading trainer Darren Weir, who has a strong hand in numbers, saddling three of the 11 runners in this race.
No9 CHARLEVOIX last start winner at Cranbourne over the 2580m. Prior to that he was only 4.8L off Hursley at Caulfield. Watch for a big run here.
No7 TRY FOUR
VALUE RUNNER: No8 UNFURL
No11 PORTION CONTROL was specked in the betting from $41 into $31 before storming home to claim third behind Zourkhan over 1600m here on May 20. He gets Jake Bayliss to ride and his 2kg claim reduces his weight to a mere 52kg in a competitive race. He jumps from gate four.
No4 ORMITO (TOP ROUGHIE) is a German import who has only raced twice in Australia. He struck a bog track when running seventh over 1700m at Warrnambool on May 2. Trainer Darren Weir brings him back here on firmer ground and has booked Michael Dee as his new rider. Keep a watch on.
No1 KILIMANJARO is an Irish import who will wear earmuffs and has been gelded. He is from the Melbourne Cup team of Robert Hickmott and he ran sixth in an Epsom Derby and won at two of his only six starts back home. Beau Mertens’ 1.5kg claim reduces his weight to 58kg.
No9 ZAHSPEED scored a good win over 1600m here on May 20. That was first-up from a 147-day break so it was a great effort. He is trained by Sydney whizz Chris Waller and Craig Newitt keeps the ride. He was at $31 last time but don’t expect that here as he drops 3kg to the limit on 54kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 ORMITO
No2 KIWIA is a son of Reset who has won at two of his three starts. Latest he ran third in the Mile Series Final at Cranbourne on May 26. He had won at Warrnambool and Ballarat at his previous two starts. With apprentice Jordan Childs’ 1.5kg claim he carries only 56.5kg and can rebound.
No1 ALL OUT OF LOVE is a son of All American who is chasing a hat-trick here. He scored a smart win over 2000m at Caulfield at his last start on May 13. He carried 54kg that day and jumps to 60kg here but keeps regular rider Corey Parish on board. He should get a good run from barrier nine and is each-way chance.
No4 GUANGZHOU this son of Fastnet Rock is absolutely flying and gets his chance here from barrier eight. He scored a fighting but narrow win over 1600m here at his last start on May 20. Michael Dee keeps the mount but he does go up 1.5kg to 57.5kg for his win. Has good claims again.
No12 TELL THE TRUTH broke his maiden over 1600m two starts ago at Pakenham. Latest he ran a strong fourth to Guangzhou over 1600m here on May 20. With Ben Thompson’s 1.5kg allowance he will carry 53kg but he has a wide alley (13) to combat.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 ALL OUT OF LOVE
No13 RADIPOLE was backed from $8 into $5.50 before finishing sixth over 1400m here on May 20. The Irish-bred import was having his first Australian start for new trainer Mike Moroney and expect him to improve sharply. He again carries no weight on 54kg and will strip fitter for the outing.
No7 TSHAHITSI posted a very clever win in the Echuca Cup (1400m) on May 28. He comes here weighted on 55.5kg which is 2kg less than he carried to win last start. The Tasmanian galloper has drawn okay in 10 and he has a great record with nine wins at his 21 starts.
No6 SOVEREIGN NATION burst back into racing with a stylish win over 1400m here first-up on May 20. He goes up 1.5kg to 55.5kg for that effort but Daniel Stackhouse keeps the ride for leading stable Team Hayes. From barrier six he should get a soft run in transit and respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 RADIPOLE
No5 OVERSTEP (BEST BET) scored a strong ¾ length win against her own age and sex over 1200m here on May 20. She gets a 2kg drop in weight down to 54.5kg for taking on the males here and Craig Newitt again rides. She has won and been placed third at her three starts down the straight here and the daughter of Exceed And Excel gets the rail drawn in gate three.
No3 DAM READY speared away to win a trial in good fashion in preparation for this race.
No1 NASDEX has won at three of his past five starts and will be in the finish.
No7 LESSYD The blinkers go back on and has a solid first-up record. Each-way.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 LESSYD
No2 REWARDING EFFORT has drawn the outside rail in 18 down the straight 1000m here. He is a promising type of sprinter and will be improved on his first-up sixth over 1000m here on May 6. Ben Thompson’s 1.5kg claim reduces his weight to 58.5kg. Loves the 1400m distance.
No11 APPROVED ANGER has claimed three straight wins and is searching for a fourth here. Latest he beat Falika over 1400m at Ballarat on May 24. Top apprentice Beau Mertens replaces Brad Rawiller and Mertens’ 1.5kg allowance reduces his weight to a comfortable 55kg. Has good claims.
No6 NIKITAS is a son of champion sire Snitzel who won at Warrnambool two starts ago. Latest he ran a distant second to Rillito over 1200m at Sandown on May 27. That was his second start for his new stable and with Jordan Childs’ 1.5kg claim he will carry 56.5kg. Bears respect.
No10 URBAN RULER blasted his opposition by 3¾ lengths to win over 1400m at Pakenham on May 25. That was an explosive effort with 59.5kg loaded on his back. He drops to 57kg here for his rise in class and has Thomas Sadler replacing Jye McNeil. From barrier one he should get a cosy run.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 REWARDING EFFORT