It has been very wet here in Victoria over the past week and the track was a Soft Five (Monday) with rain forecast. Suggest to keep a close eye on the track reading on the day.
An interesting eight-race card consisting of three maidens to kick off the proceedings.
The best stables and jockeys are represented at this meeting so expect the competition to be tight and tough. Will pay to watch any market moves especially in the open race, which is a maiden for two-year-olds. The false rail; will be shifted out four metres for the entire circuit.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8,)
Skinny Play: 4,13 – 5 – 5,13 – 6,10
Wide Play: 4,5,10,13 – 4,5,7 – 1,5,7,13 – 3,6,10,12
BEST BET: R8 – 3. SEVEN YEAR REWARD
Next Best Bet: R6 – 4. ALMALITA
Best Roughie: R8 – 18. ADDISON
No4 SECRET BLAZE drops dramatically in class on his debut when finishing a good fourth in a Listed race over 1000m at Sandown on November 18. The colt will get an important gear change with blinkers going on for the first time today. Hails from a top juvenile yard and will be hard to beat.
No3 HIGH RATIO is a well bred son of leading stallion Fastnet Rock making his debut for leading trainer Mick Price. He showed he was up to making a forward showing at his sole trial when finishing second over 800m at Cranbourne on November 27. The in-form Michael Dee rides and he is draw in gate four.
No1 CELEBRITY REIN is a product of last seasons premier juvenile stable Team Hayes. He has no trial form to go by but would suggest he is well-educated at Euroa. He will wear a tongue-tie at his debut and from barrier two and with Craig Williams on should be right in the mix.
*SCRATCHED* No6 THE FRONTIER is by the boom stallion I Am Invincible who continues to rack up massive winners. He is the stablemate to High Ratio but has not had a trial so there is no exposed form. The colt has the experienced Michael Walker to guide and suggest to monitor the betting closely.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 THE FRONTIER
No8 BLINKY O’REILLY is a son of champion New Zealand stallion O’Reilly and he showed he was primed for a strong assault with a good third over 1400m maiden at Cranbourne on October 15. Has been away for a few weeks, but the distance should prove no obstacle for this gelding.
No7 AMSCHEL is a son of Testa Rossa who is resuming from a 23-week spell. Latest he ran a good fourth in strong company to Royal Symphony over 1400m at Flemington on June 24. On that form he looms as a strong threat and would suggest to keep a close watch on the betting.
No10 LOXWOOD is resuming from a 19-week spell and showed ability at sole start to run a good fifth in a 2yo maiden on the synthetic at Geelong on July 21. Was backed heavily into a $1.90 favourite that day and is at more liberal odds at $3.10 today. Has been gelded and the blinkers come off for the first time.
No9 HOMADOS is a former New Zealand galloper now in the Flemington stables of Nigel Blackiston. He showed ability at his sole start when running a strong fourth over 1200m in a maiden at Hastings on April 29. He faces country maidens here today at his Australian debut.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 HOMADOS
*SCRATCHED* No5 MORE THAN EVER was heavily backed as a $3.30 favourite at his debut when running a close second over 1316m at Balaklava on November 22. Has been brought across the border to break the ice and with stable jockey Luke Currie to ride suggest will go very close. Trainer Tony McEvoy is flying high this season and can chalk up another winner here.
No9 CHLOEBELL went within centimetres of breaking the ice when flashing home to run second to Millie The Missile over 1500m F&M maiden at Yarra Valley on November 25. That was the best effort by the daughter of Snitzel at four starts and she could be on the rise.
No6 NOW I’M A MAN will wear a cross over noseband for the first time today. The three-year-old is from Team Hayes and would overlooked last-start ninth over 1600m maiden here on November 14 when led and weakened out of proceedings. Will be ridden far quieter today and keep safe.
No10 EM FOR MIRANDA has been a most reliable five-year-old mare finishing in the placings at three of her four starts. She ran a great second over 1406 maiden against her own sex on November 12 at Benella. She is back today and plummets 3.5kg down to 56.5kg. Must respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 EM FOR MIRANDA
No6 SINJAREE is a well bred son of leading Kiwi stallion O’Reilly and will be right in the mix here. He scored a brilliant win over 1400m maiden at Sandown on November 22 when plunged from $5 into $4.40 at his second career start. Has ace jockey Dwayne Dunn and the rail to guide here.
No2 BEDFORD has landed in the minor placings at his past two starts. Latest he ran home well to claim third over 1400m at Sandown on November 22. He is fit and well and has the in-form Daniel Stackhouse to guide him across from barrier 11. He is second-up today and should strip fitter.
No1 SO LITTLE TIME made an audacious start to his new found career with an outstanding 2.25 length win over 1300m at Geelong on November 11. That was in a maiden and he does rise in class somewhat today. He was not wanted in the betting at $20 last time. Suggest to keep safe.
No5 CALL TO JUSTICE has not finished further back than fifth at his past five starts so is ultra consistent. He ran a solid second over 1421m at Geelong on November 19. He gets a change of rider today with top jockey Linda Meech replacing Damien Oliver and is worth watching closely.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 CALL TO JUSTICE
No10 AMERICAN GENIUS had some support at double figure odds when finishing last to the cracking youngster Royal Symphony over 1400m at Flemington on June 24. The opposition today is far milder and he boasts a smart first-up record of two starts for two placings. Gets a nice run from gate four.
No13 TAKEMEHOMEMISTER resuming from a 20-week spell and will find this a lot easier than at his last start when he ran ninth to Did It Again over 1200m at Caulfield on July 15. He earned his place in that field with a cracking win here over 1100m at his second career start. Looms as a good danger.
No7 BUMGARNER has won and been placed third at his three starts. He was first-up from a long spell when finishing a good third over 1200m at Seymour on November 12. He did win very well over 1100m at Ballarat last campaign at his first career start. Suggest he can figure in the money fresh.
No5 INAMINUTE has been in outstanding form with two straight wins. Latest he blazed home to beat Grey Strike by a half-length over 1100m here on November 14. He has been kept fresh with a three-week gap between starts and is sure to be well -liked by punters to win this affair.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 TAKEMEHOMEMISTER
No4 ALMALITA (NEXT BEST BET) is rock hard ready for this clash after her brave third over 2400m at Sandown on November 24. She has won twice from her past five starts and with the in-form Zac Spain to ride on 57.5kg she looks one of the better bets on this eight-race card. Gets a nice run from gate five and will be held tight in the betting by the bookmakers.
No7 MICHELIN ran a good second to Street Sun beating home Almalita over 2400m at Sandown on November 22. He was firm in the betting at $6.50.
No5 PRINCE OF PAGODA was an effortless winner over 1800m at Morphettville two starts ago and must give right respect.
No11 MORE SPARK could give a few of these a bit of fire at the odds of $18. He looks to have each-way claims.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 PRINCE OF PAGODA
No13 ROYALE EFFORT gets No. 1 stable jockey Regan Bayliss to ride. Ran a good third over 1400m here last start on November 1 when was carrying 58.5kg. He drops down to 57kg today and Bayliss keeps the ride. He was a smart winner over 1200m at Mornington two starts ago on 58kg.
No15 HI SUPPOSE was at full flight when scoring an effortless maiden win over 1300m at Mildura on July 17. Was racing second-up from a spell when finishing strongly to run second over 1300m against her own sex on November 14 here. She gets Craig Williams and drops 1.5kg to 55.5kg here.
No7 LIGHT ‘N’ FIRE looked to have a tough run when finishing sixth over 1450m at Kyneton on November 4. Trainer Darren Weir has freshened him up with a four-week break and he has booked the in-form apprentice Ben Allen to ride on 58kg – which is 2kg less than last time.
No1 IZENASHARK was a brilliant winner over 1200m at Seymour two starts ago. Latest he ran a strong second to Moonlover over 1200m at Mornington on November 5. With Stephanie Thornton’s 1.5kg will get a reduced impost on 61kg. The weight is the anchor here.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 IZENASHARK
No3 SEVEN YEAR REWARD (BEST BET) gets his chance to rebound after suffering his first defeat at four starts when finishing a brave third over 1200m at Moonee Valley on November 17. He heads back into the country today and Nikata Beriman has stuck with the winner of three starts. He does carry 60.5kg but has won with 59.5kg three starts ago. Looks one of the best bets on this card.
No17 TENAPPY LADIES was a great winner at last start and has won twice from past five attempts.
No10 HARD EMPIRE was a fabulous winner over 1400m at Ballarat two starts ago and gets his chance to bounce back.
No18 ADDISON (BEST ROUGHIE) is resuming from a 32-week spell but has an unblemished record of two starts for two wins.
VALUE RUNNER: No18 ADDISON