Today’s card is an exciting one with the Bletchingly Stakes to be run after Caulfield’s meeting last Saturday was washed out.
Punters get their chance to see veteran idol Lankan Rupee return in the weight-for-age feature.
There is also two exciting races over the pickets with the staging of the Crisp Steeplechase and the Grand National Hurdle.
A strong card of nine races awaits eager punters, with many horses making their returns for the spring.
The rail will be at six metres and the track is currently rated a Soft 6 with showers forecast.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 2,5,14 – 1,9,11 – 6,8 – 5,11,15
Wide Play: 2,3,5,12,14 – 1,3,9,10,11 – 6,8,11 – 5,10,11,15,16
BEST BET: R8 – 8. HANDSOME THIEF
Next Best Bet: R4 – 1. WELLS
Best Roughie: R9– 16. PRIA ECLIPSE
No2 SANADAAT has made a great impression with a win and a third at her two starts. Latest she ran a luckless third in the Talindirt Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on February 18. She resumes here and will wear winkers for the first time. She was flattened at the 150m at her last start and did a fantastic job to recover and snatch third place. Strikes a small field and strong claims.
No3 CRYSTAL SPIRIT has shown excellent form in the provincials with two seconds at his two starts. Latest he ran on solidly to finish runner-up over 1000m at Bairnsdale on July 25. He was the $3.10 favourite that day and he gets red hot jockey Damian Lane to steer here.
No5 PROSECUTION made a fantastic return with a 1½ length win in mud over 1000m at Ballarat on July 13. It was an easy win for the filly and she has talented young jockey Jye McNeil to guide her second up here. Would expect further improvement as she is from the stables of champion trainer Darren Weir.
SCRATCHED No6 MISSCINO hails from the astute stables of Robert Smerdon. Would suggest to watch the betting closely at her debut. She ran a handy fifth on a bog track over 800m at Cranbourne back in February. Was put away and brought back for a spring assault. Has good rider Ryan Maloney on board.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 MISSCINO
SCRATCHED No5 EUREKA STREET will sport winkers for the first time. Has been consistent without winning this campaign but he gets his chance for a break through here. Over-raced early but finished strong to run sixth over 2000m at Caulfield on July 15. He has drawn the rail and respect.
No4 GALILEO’S PEARL has comeback jockey Michael Walker to steer again at his hunt for a hat-trick. He drops a kilo to 59kg on his last win over 1900m at Geelong on July 19. Both country wins have been easy and he does not strike strong opposition here. On top of his game.
No13 BLAZERS scored a breakthrough win over 2000m at Ballarat on July 13. That was her fourth start and she has plenty of upside. She gets the Group 1 winning jockey Regan Bayliss to negate her wide alley in gate 11 and is worth each-way thought here.
No14 CHEZ DUMONET has been racing in the outer provincials but gets Group 1 winning hoop Damian Lane to ride and is from the record-breaking yard of Darren Weir. He had a torrid run when deep before winning a maiden over 2100m at Echuca on July 27. Ready to migrate to the city.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 BLAZERS
No12 SPECIAL DIVA faces a deep field here but was a good run at Flemington when finishing fourth in the Rivette Series two starts ago. Latest only plugged away when running 13th at the same track over 1400m on July 22. She gets top jockey Damian Oliver to ride and give another chance.
SCRATCHED No15 GIROUX showed she was ready for the city with a strong second over 1300m at Bendigo on July 23. She was the $3.80 favourite that day and top hoop Damian Lane has stuck in what is a most even race where there is no standout. The gate in 19 is a setback but must rate.
No1 SOHOOL with the blinkers going back on could show improvement. This is easier than last start when finishing ninth over 1400m here on July 7. The stallion was found to have swelling on his back after the run and would have another look with Jordan Grob’s claim dropping his weight to 58.5kg.
SCRATCHED No2 BLAZING SOCKS will strip a lot fitter on his first-up fifth over 1400m at Sale on July 20. He gets Ethan Brown to ride and with his 3kg claim will carry 58kg. He bowed out last time with a win and would expect sharp improvement from his midfield draw in gate 10.
VALUE RUNNER: No15 GIROUX
No1 WELLS (NEXT BEST BET) Looks to have this at his mercy on his last start win in the Mosstrooper Steeplechase (3600m) at Bendigo when lumping 70kg on July 23. He carries the same weight here and he fought hard to pull away after the last jump last time. He appears the best chaser in the field and makes strong appeal.
SCRATCHED No4 TRY FOUR did make ground to battle on fairly when running fifth in the Mosstrooper (3600m) at Bendigo on July 23.
SCRATCHED No2 GOLD MEDALS won the Australian Chase two starts ago and struck a bog track last time.
No3 I’LL’AVA’ALF won this race last year and is ticking over nicely again this year.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 I’LL’AVA’ALF
No2 ANCIENT KING was in a golden vein when winning four straight over the jumps here before given a break. He has had two trials over 2800m and 2400m over the hurdles before finishing sixth over 2500m on the flat at Morphettville on July 29. Leading jumps jockey John Allen rides for his boss Darren Weir.
No4 TWO HATS won a hurdle at Warrnambool on a bog track two starts ago on July 9. Then ran a solid second in another hurdle (3600m) at Bendigo on July 23. Again he will carry 64kg and should continue to do a good job over the jumps.
No1 SEA KING pulled away to post a smart win over a 3600m hurdle at Bendigo on July 23. He rises 1.5kg to 71.5kg here on that win. The big weight could be a steadier but he is racing in superb fashion and will be sure to be amongst the leading division at the finish.
No8 REFECTORY made a perfect start to his new career over the jumps with a maiden win over 3200m at Bendigo on July 23. He was the $3.30 favourite that day and did the job well. He drops 4kg for his rise in class to 64kg here and looms as a light-weight chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 REFECTORY
No2 SWISS KISS faces a deep field here with many chances. With apprentice Brandon Stockdale’s 3kg claim she will carry a more comfortable 58.5kg. She ran a solid sixth over 1200m at Caulfield on July 1. She should find this easier and with a good ride can figure in the finish.
No14 SWISS MOMENTS is a New Zealand mare making her Australian debut for new trainer Mick Kent. She has only raced twice for a win and a second at her two starts. She hails from an astute betting stable and has the services of top jockey Luke Nolen here.
No1 MOONLOVER posted a good win in similar class over 1200m at Geelong two starts ago. Latest she ran a solid eighth after losing ground against 3yr fillies race at Caulfield on July 15. With apprentice Ethan brown’s 3kg claim she will carry 58.5kg, but must combat a wide alley in 12.
No5 IF NOT NOW WHEN gave an effort full of merit when finishing third over 1200m against fillies at Caulfield on July 15. She did have support that day backed into $6.50but she has to contend with a wide gate in 19. Jordan Turner’s 1.5kg claim drops her weight to 58kg here.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 SWISS MISS
No1 LANKAN RUPEE is another year older but he is a favourite of the Australian turf. Trainer Mick Price has given the eight-year-old a solid preparation for his comeback after having a few injuries issues. He ran a good fourth in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington at his last start last spring. He loves weight-for-age and expect a bold showing fresh here.
No11 ABILITY deserves a crack at this level following three straight wins at Moonee Valley and Flemington. He carried 54kg to win the Vic Sprint Series at Flemington on July 8. He was backed into a $2.90 favourite that time and with top jockey Dwayne Dunn to ride makes appeal.
No12 SAVANNA AMOUR is a Queenslander returning to Victoria for a spring campaign. Latest she won over 1200m in the Gold Coast Guineas on May 6. She was at 416 that day and this will be a test but she has upside with four wins and two thirds at nine starts. Worth looking at.
No9 CHOCOLATE HOLIC is a former West Australian galloper making his Victorian debut for trainer Darren Weir. He won the Northam Cup (1600m) and Carbine Stakes (1400m) last spring at home and he gets former WA jockey Damian Lane to ride here. Proven to be most capable and respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 CHOCOLATE HOLIC
No15 TRES ran a close fifth over 1400m against her own sex at Sandown on July 12. She proved a smart 3yr filly last season and she gets the services of top jockey Damian Lane to ride fresh. She will sport blinkers for the first time and would suggest to keep her safe in an open field.
No11 PABLO’S EXPRESS roped away to win his maiden over 1600m by 5½ lengths at Pakenham on July 14. He does rise in class but he has talented jockey Craig Newitt to guide him and he has finished inside the money at four of his six starts. Looks to have plenty of upside.
No16 PRIA ECLIPSE (BEST ROUGHIE) has finished on the heels of the winners at her past two starts at this track. Latest she ran a close fourth over 1400m against her own sex on July 19. She gets Lucinda Doodt as her new rider and her 3kg claim drops her weight to 53.5kg.
No5 TANJIER is a former West Australian galloper who has shown a liking for the soft surfaces. Showed he was on key for a big run with his third over 1300m at Geelong on July 16. With apprentice Jack Martin’s 3kg claim he will carry 57.5kg and will relish the extra 300m here.
VALUE RUNNER: No16 PRIA ECLIPSE
No8 HANDSOME THIEF (BEST BET) looks to have a very bright career and can continue on here where he left off last campaign. Bowed out with two straight wins over 1200m at Moonee Valley in the autumn when he was a white-hot favourite. He gets stable jockey john Allen to ride first up and will wear a nasal strip for the first time. With three wins and a second at four starts has the score on the board.
SCRATCHED No6 TANGO ROCK has the form on the board to warrant as a strong danger here.
No15 DORTMUND resumes here from a 128-day break and has a sound fresh record.
No11 WRITTEN ERA has been placed at three of his four starts first-up. Keep safe.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 TANGO ROCK