Racing returns to Cranbourne for the second weekend in a row.
This time it is an eight race card on Friday night whereas last week it was a seven-event meeting on the Saturday evening. The False Rail is shifted out to the nine-metre position and the track is currently rated as a Soft 5. There is fine weather forecast so that could be improved so watch for that. This is an interesting meeting with four maidens to kick off the affair.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 1 – 5 – 1 -11
Wide Play: 1,4 – 5,9 – 1,6 -1,10,11
BEST BET: R5 – 1. LITTLE BITA SPUNK
Next Best Bet: R6 – 5. MARCHING ON
Best Roughie: R8 – 7. STYLISH ASSASSIN
No9 JOIE DE DREAM played out well on the soft going to run a brave third over 1300m maiden at Wangaratta on December 5. She is from Team Hayes and leading stable jockey Regan Bayliss is to ride from barrier five. Strong chance.
No8 ENDLESS ROSE was held up at a pivotal stage between the 200m and 300m before finishing a strong sixth over 1400m maiden at Werribee on December 10. That was her debut effort and from barrier one should get a nice run through.
No6 MADAM STOWELL has an important gear change with the blinkers coming off. She lost ground but regained her momentum to finish seventh over 1300m in a maiden at Wangaratta on December 5. Top rider Linda Meech rides again.
No5 CHLOEBELL has finished runner-up at past two starts in similar company. Latest ran a good second over 1600m maiden at Bendigo on December 6. She was the $2.70 favourite that day and can repay her backers here.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 MADAM STOWELL
No7 TANGO MAN was caught up in heavy traffic at a vital stage and did well to finish sixth, beaten 1.5 lengths over 1300m maiden at Bendigo on December 6. That was his debut and with a clear shot at the leaders should be powering home.
No10 SHOOTOUTATDAWN will sport winkers for the first time. She showed she was primed for an assault with a handy third over 800m trial at Cranbourne on November 27. Has had a month more to get fit and has ace jockey Craig Williams to ride.
No6 SMOKE SIGNAL came on to finish into eighth place at debut over 1109m in a maiden at Echuca on July 10. Hails from the top yard of Mick Price and has leading jockey Michael Dee to ride at return. Expect to be improved.
No3 KEEN is a three-year-old colt from the leading stable of Busuttin and Young. He has experienced jockey Stephen Baster in the saddle and suggest to watch the betting closely, in spite of having no trial form.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 KEEN
No5 ROYAL THUNDER hails from the top stable of Team Hayes and gets the stable rider Regan Bayliss to ride. Was a big drifter in the market from $5.50 to $13 when finishing a close fourth over 1112m in a maiden at Kyneton on December 7. Will be improved.
No12 SO WHITE had to do a lot of work early and may have told when finishing eighth over 1600m fillies maiden at Ballarat on October 26. Returns here from an eight-week spell and was second at Pakenham at her penultimate start.
No8 DRAMATIST is a three-year-old filly from the betting stable of Robert Smerdon. She ran a good 1400m in a maiden at Pakenham on November 16. She has been freshened up for this race and gets top rider Craig Williams to steer.
No6 LADY MAHALA was upped to city class when finishing a sound over 1400m maiden at Moonee Valley on December 8. She had run a good second over 1500m here three starts ago. She is experienced and rates with good claims.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 DRAMATIST
No6 AMASTRYKER will sport winkers for the first time. She looks well placed here against her own sex on her last-start second over 1200m F&M maiden at Mornington on December 8. She has been placed at four of her five starts and has plenty to like.
No11 TUSKAR BROOK is resuming from a 13-week spell. Not raced since finishing seventh over 1330m in a maiden at Geelong on September 17. Goes well fresh with two thirds from two starts. She has drawn perfectly in gate four.
No7 APHRODITE ROCK gets a critical gear change with the blinkers going on for the first time. She ran a solid sixth when trapped wide over 1170m in a maiden at Wangaratta on December 5. She faces a similar field here.
No5 ZARAMORA hails from the astute stable of trainer Mick Kent. She has no trial form but she has drawn perfectly in gate two and has the in-form apprentice Ethan Brown to ride. Suggest to watch the betting on this mare.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 ZARAMORA
No1 LITTLE BITA SPUNK (BEST BET) absolutely loves this track with a fine record of two wins and three placings at six starts. He sailed away to a 1.3 length win over 1200m at sale on December 1, when carrying 58kg. He carries 60.5kg with the 1.5kg claim of apprentice Mitchell Aitken today and has drawn gate three. He was heavily backed from $4.60 into a $3.60 favourite last time and expect strong support again here.
No4 TREMBLING has only missed finishing inside the money twice at seven starts. Drawn in two should be prominent.
No8 PETE’S DRAGON was fresh and was caught four and five deep at Kyneton. Will strip fitter for the start.
No5 FLYING SPARK is drawn to do no work in gate one and with the 1.5kg claim will carry 58.5kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 FLYING SPARK
No5 MARCHING ON (NEXT BEST BET) was backed into a red hot $2.60 before finishing strongly to tearaway to a 4.25 length win over 1875m in a maiden at Kyneton on December 7. Showed the way to the post from the front and should do the same again with Craig Williams back on top. Has the speed to cross easily from gate nine.
No3 STARTIERRA was a smart winner at Kyneton last start and rates as the main danger here.
No9 FAIR AND EQUITABLE was trapped five deep last time out and was entitled to tire. Better drawn in four.
No8 CATCH ME LATAR is on a winning streak with two country wins from past two starts.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 CATCH ME LATAR
No1 RESET ME I’M WILD was first up from a 17-week spell when finishing well to run a close fourth over 1300m at Sandown on November 29. Has been kept fresh for this race and gets the experienced Jamie Mott to ride. Has a perfect score second-up.
No8 DIVINE COMMAND has had races spaced and looms with good prospects on last start second over 1514m against her own sex at Moonee Valley on December 8. Was at double figure odds that time but will be tighter here.
No6 JVALA has been in rock solid form at two starts from a spell finishing second on both occasions. Looking to break through here after a narrow second over 1400m at Sandown on December 2. That was on a bog track and strikes soft going here.
No2 KING VALOUR is resuming from a 21-week spell. Latest ran a solid third after leading over 2400m at Sandown back in July. With the 2kg claim his weight will drop to a more comfortable 58kg and is drawn in two.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 KING VALOUR
No11 SHALWA is a three-year-old daughter of O’Reilly who will be improved on her fighting win over 1112m maiden at Kyneton on December 7. She was backed into a $2.20 favourite that time and Michael Dee keeps the ride.
No2 FABULONH with the 1.5kg claim of apprentice Stephanie Thornton will carry 59.5kg. Has the blinkers replacing visors and this is his third start back from a spell. Has finished well at his two prior starts at the Valley and Ballarat.
No7 STYLISH ASSASSIN (BEST ROUGHIE) was first-up from a four-week break when running a strong third over 1200m at Terang on December 4. Carries the same weight on 59kg but gets a new rider in Jamie Mott. Suggest to keep safe.
No10 STAR SILK settled second but then lost ground and had to recover before finishing fourth of four runners over 1200m at Mornington on December 13. Pay to overlook that effort and go on prior win in a 1300m maiden here.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 STAR SILK