This is the final city meeting in Victoria for 2017 and there looks to be value on a card with plenty of chance in the nine races.
The false rail will be at the True Position and the weather should be fine so expect the horses to be running on a firm track. The apprentice’s claims will be pivotal to some of the chances here with trainers seeking to lighten the load on some of their best chances. As always they are apprentices and they have a claim for a reason. Looking forward to a competitive meeting with deep fields.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 1,2 – 1,10 – 3,9 – 8,12
Wide Play: 1,2,3,7 – 1,6,10,14 – 3,5,9,15 – 8,12,15,17
BEST BET: R3 – 6. LIFE ON THE WIRE
Next Best Bet: R7 – 10. TENAPPY LADIES
Best Roughie: R9 – 15. SIMPLY SPLASHING
No1 FAKE hails from the stables of Godolphin and looks hard to beat on exposed form with a debut win at Gosford and a solid third over 1100m at Caulfield on December 16. That was his first Melbourne start and Craig Williams replaces Damian Lane for his second tilt. Drawn in three is a bonus.
No5 GRACEFUL STORM was forced to dig deep to score a narrow win over 1000m against her own sex at Bendigo on December 17. She was easy in the betting out from $6.50 to $8, but she won impressively and drops 2kg to 55kg for her second start and first in the city. Looks a danger.
No3 AL DORAMA hails from the big betting stable of Robert Smerdon and the bookies will keep safe. Was not extended at his trial over 800m when finishing fourth at Colac on December 18. Senior rider Ryan Maloney stays on top and he has drawn okay in eight at his debut.
No8 LOVE LUCILLE showed sharp improvement at second trial with an easy win over 850m at Tatura on December 11. That could be due to a critical gear change with a lugging bit going on for the first time at her debut. Hails from the reigning top yard for juveniles and would watch the betting closely.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 LOVE LUCILLE
No1 RED CHOUX’S has been as reliable as clockwork and looks good value here following two wins and three placings at past five starts. Latest he ran a luckless second over 1700m at Caulfield on December 16. He was backed from $11 into $9.50 that day and with the 2kg claim carries 59kg here.
No2 SHAUQUIN showed plenty of grit when finishing third over 1600m at Moonee Valley on December 15. Was trapped three deep and fought hard in the straight. Apprentice Joshua Bryan rides again and he will carry 58.5kg with the 2kg claim. Has been most honest and is a threat today.
No6 STAR MAJOR won his maiden in style over 1400m at Sale three starts ago. Latest he ran a solid fourth to the highly fancied High Parallel over 1600m at Pakenham on December 9. He has a wide draw in 11 but he has only had three starts and has heaps of room for improvement. Goes well.
No4 DOMESTICATED ran a cracking second to Adatto over 1800m here on December 20. She was on 56.5kg that day and will carry the same weight here with the 3kg claim of Liam Riordan today. Has fought hard at her past two starts to run second and is in line for a breakthrough win. Might be here.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 STAR MAJOR
No6 LIFE ON THE WIRE (BEST BET) looms as a good bet with a strong streak of wins including a last-start win here over 1400m against her own sex on November 29. She strikes her own sex again today and is down 2.5kg in weight to 56.5kg. She is chasing a fourth straight win after claiming big wins at her home track in Tasmania. She boasts five wins and four placings at 11 starts. Great sight anticipated.
No3 ABOHAR was a smart winner in this class at Doomben three starts ago. Is resuming today from a17-week spell.
No5 MOONLOVER won impressively at Mornington over 1200m three starts ago and been placed at past two in the city.
No2 SINGLE NOTE is superior to current record and would keep safe as can rebound despite poor start.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 ABOHAR
No2 TWITCHY FRANK is looking to keep in tact her unbeaten record with two wins from two starts to her credit. The daughter of Choisir smashed her opposition at Moonee Valley over 1200m on December 15. She streaked to a 2.25 length win at her debut at Swan Hill. This is another test, but has a good alley in four.
No1 MEMORY BANK another filly who has been unstoppable with three straight wins to her credit. Latest she raced away to a half-length win over 1300m here on a bog track on December 2. She was given a freshen up after a hard run and with Liam Riordan’s 3kg claim will carry a reasonable weight on 58kg.
No9 EMAAN broke her maiden status at Geelong three starts ago. Latest she ran on well along the rail to finish fifth over 1200m against Twitchy Frank at Moonee Valley on December 15. She drops a kilo to 56kg and gets senior rider Cory Parish replacing a 2kg claiming apprentice here.
No7 LIGHT ROMANCE has yet to finish outside the money at her three starts. She was an unheralded winner ay her debut over 1300m at Seymour on October 8. Last start she ran a brave third to hot pot Bella Martini over 1200m at Moonee Valley on December 8. Carries 55kg with the 1.5kg claim.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 LIGHT ROMANCE
No4 KAKANUI charged home out wide to post an impressive .75 length win over 955m at Moonee Valley on December 15. He is a short-course specialist who with the claim of apprentice Ethan Brown will carry 59.5kg here. He has won and been placed at four starts at this course and loves this distance.
No12 DAM READY will be out to repay favourite backers who took the $4 favouritism when finishing second to Toorak Cowboy over 1100m at Werribee on December 10. That was first-up from a 19-week spell and he gest ace jockey Luke Currie to cross from gate 15 today. Each-way appeal.
No1 SOVEREIGN DUKE was a massive 5.5 length winner at Swan Hill over 975m two starts ago. Last start he ran a close sixth to Crystal Dreamer in a hot field over 1100m at Caulfield on December 16. Chelsea Hall’s 3kg claim helps relieve the big weight dropping him down to 60kg. Worth thought.
No6 SANG CHOI BAO had to combat difficulties to win last start when the rider dropped the rein and he ducked in. Still showed grit to get up and win by .4 length over 1000m at Bendigo on December 17. Must lump 60.5kg but gets top rider John Allen to steer from barrier nine. Has claims here.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 SOVEREIGN DUKE
No1 BURNING FRONT fought hard when running a good third to Amadeus over 1400m at Pakenham on December 9. Was an easing $4.20 favourite that day with 60kg. With the 2kg claim of apprentice Ethan Brown will carry 59kg today. Suited at this distance and looks one of the better chances.
No7 OZI CHOICE was a brilliant 2 length winner over 1440m at Caulfield last start on December 16. He is searching for a hat-trick today and with the 1.5kg claim of apprentice Ben Thompson will carry only 52.5kg. He is the stablemate to Burning Front and gives trainer Darren Weir a strong hand.
No9 GOT THE GOSS scored two successive wins at Kyneton and Ballarat over 1200m before given a three-week break and finishing a sound eighth over 1100m at Caulfield on December 16. Has talented lightweight jockey Dean Yendall riding on 54kg and looks a nice chance here.
No2 CHAMOIS ROAD with the 3kg claim of apprentice Mitchell Aitken will carry only 52.5kg. Was backed into a $2.20 favourite when beaten by Nikitas over 1400m at Morphettville on December 16. That was off a three-week break and expect to be sharp for this encounter from barrier four.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 CHAMOIS ROAD
No10 TENAPPY LADIES (NEXT BEST BET) has been in sparkling form with two wins from his past three starts. Latest he carried 55.5kg to victory over 1600m at Moonee valley on December 15. The stallion has the pace to race up on the speed and can overcome wide alley in 11. He is unbeaten at this track with one start for one win and looks nice value at $4.80 in early betting.
No1 GUIZOT was a brilliant winner at Pakenham three starts ago and has been right on the money at past two starts.
No6 ANCIENT HISTORY was finishing on very well to snatch fourth last start. Races on the speed and respect.
No14 LIGHT ‘N’ FIRE has no weight with the 3kg claim on 52kg. Won over 1400m at Bendigo two starts ago.
VALUE RUNNER: No14 LIGHT ‘N’ FIRE
No3 CLUB TROPICANA faces an open field with many chances. She has been racing well with successive wins at Sale and Sandown before finishing eighth over 11000m against her own sex at Caulfield on December 16. Has a perfect record here of one start for one win.
No9 MISS VESPER is resuming from a long spell and has an excellent record fresh of two starts for two wins. She has not raced since finishing ninth over 1100m at Caulfield on July 1. Apprentice Tahlia Hope’s 3kg claim reduces her weight down to 55kg and is lightly raced. Each-way chance.
No5 GWENNETH was given a break after striking a bog track and running a sound fifth over 1100m here on December 2. Will be back on top of the ground today and has been placed twice at her three starts at this track. She has a great draw in gate five and should be thereabouts.
No7 IF NOT NOW WHEN was caught three deep first-up when running a sound seventh over 1100m against her own sex at Caulfield on December 16. The 3kg claim of apprentice Grobb drops her impost down to 56kg but the gate in 15 does hurt. She loves this distance and must respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 MISS VESPER
No12 THE AVENGER is a Sydney galloper with top Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver booked to ride. The Chris Waller-trained raced on the speed before finishing fourth over 1500m at Rosehill on December 9. Has the speed to combat the wide alley in 15 and has an unblemished record at this distance.
No8 CHIPPENHAM showed plenty of courage to go down narrowly in a three-way finish, running third over 1450m at Tatura on December 10. The five-year-old gets Tahlia Hope’s 3kg claim to reduce his weight to 57kg here. That is 3kg less than he carried last time when beaten only by centimetres.
No6 CANNOT BE SERIOS has the winkers going on at his first start back from a spell. He has a fresh record of two starts for one win. Last start he ran a close seventh over 1726m at Geelong on September 3. The wide alley in 16 does hurt but has James Winks to ride and is worth each-way thought.
No15 SIMPLY SPLASHING (BEST ROUGHIE) had to dig deep to narrowly win over 1300m at Warrnambool on December 12. He was backed from $3 into $2.60 that day and he gets top jockey Brad Rawiller to guide today. He is making his debut at this track but his recent country form is sterling and worth thought.
VALUE RUNNER: No15 SIMPLY SPLASHING