Last week we saw racing at Ballarat in the twilight hours (Wednesday), but racing returns to the track under the usual schedule of an afternoon meeting today.
The false rail has been shifted right out to 11 metres from the 600m to the winning post and will be at three metres for the remainder. The track is expected to be rated as a Good 4.
Indernile makes strong appeal on her brilliant win last start at this track. He is lightly raced having only had seven starts for a win and two placings and gets senior rider Patrick Maloney to ride again.
The three-year-old races against older horses but the field does not look strong and he can mirror his last start. All in all, a competitive card of racing, with the four maidens looking to have some depth of talent in the young horses competing.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 2,4 – 5 – 3 – 6,7
Wide Play: 1,2,4 – 2,5,7 – 2,3,6 – 3,6,7,8
BEST BET: R7 – 3. INDERNILE
Next Best Bet: R5 – 2. I’M THE BOSS
Best Roughie: R8 – 4. ABERS SOLUTELY
No5 NASAAYIM is a beautifully bred daughter of Redoute’s Choice racing for the leading juvenile yard of Team Hayes. She was plunged into a $2.60 favourite when running second down the straight 1000m at Flemington on January 13. Looks suited here.
No2 HIKAYA made a good debut at Morphettville when finishing a sound third over 1000m on October 28. She is from Adelaide’s leading stable of Tony McEvoy and by leading Kiwi sire O’Reilly will relish the extra 200m today.
*SCRATCHED* No3 MELVEEN is by leading stallion Starspangledbanner making her debut for astute trainer Henry Dwyer. The experienced Ryan Maloney has been booked and she is drawn five in a small field of only seven fillies. Watch betting.
No6 SOLAR STAR went within an ace of breaking through at her debut here over 1000m on December 17. She then headed north to NSW where she ran sixth over 1100m at Canterbury on January 5. She is fresh for this race.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 SOLAR STAR
No12 NIGHT IN PARADISE strikes only her own sex in this maiden. She ran a top second over 1130m at her debut at Geelong before finishing ninth over 1170m in a maiden at Echuca at her last start in October. She was well-faniced at both starts.
No11 LITTLE ROCK hails from the top yard of Michael Moroney and will wear the addition of blinkers at her first start back from a long spell. At her sole start led and fought hard but unable to shake off the challengers when seventh over 1100m in August.
No2 CASTLEFIELD LASS has shown plenty of promise with two seconds at her four starts. She resumes from a 36-week spell today, but she has had two soft trials over 800m at Cranbourne to prepare her. Barrier 10 is a setback.
No13 WUJIMU claimed her right for this race with a good second over 1112m maiden at Kilmore on January 18. She was backed from $5 into $4.80 and worked home strong but raced most greenly. If she gets a clear shot will be there.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 CASTLEFIELD LASS
*SCRATCHED* No8 SUNQUEST has the tongue tie coming off for the renewal of his campaign. Ran a strong second over 1600m at Caulfield at his penultimate start on September 23, before tiring at Flemington over 1800m in a Listed race. Big chance.
No1 BRANKSOME CHIMES ploughed through the mud to run a strong second over 1000m maiden at Cranbourne on January 12. He fought hard that day and was just beaten late. Brad Rawiller rides and is the danger.
No7 SAM SLICK was placed twice at four starts last campaign. He is resuming from a 19-week spell after finishing sixth over 1330m at Geelong on September 17. That was on a bog track and prior form on superior going was solid.
No14 STARLIKE has been placed twice at seven starts. Ran a top third over 1000m at Bendigo on December 17 before finishing a close sixth over 1318m at Geelong on January 4. Was plunged that day from $8 into $4.80.
VALUE RUNNER: No14 STARLIKE
*SCRATCHED* No1 CIVIL GUARD has the addition of blinkers, which is a critical change. Was a big drifter from $4.80 to $8 when finishing third over 1200m maiden at Ballarat on January 16. Did not surrender and kept on keeping on. Respect.
No4 CIRCOMO was gelding during long spell. Last start was backed from $19 into $10 when running seventh over 1600m at Caulfield back in October. Gets top jockey Mark Zahra to ride and has the ideal draw in gate one.
*SCRATCHED* No9 TRENT was placed second at successive starts before finishing seventh over 1800m maiden at Sandown in November. Was tramped up to five deep that day. He gets top rider Regan Bayliss to guide first-up.
No11 THINK was heavily backed into a $3 favourite but disappointed her backers when finishing third over 1200m in a F&M maiden at Cranbourne on January 12. Sat five deep for most of the trip and gets Melbourne’s leading rider Damian Lane here.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 THINK
No2 I’M THE BOSS (NEXT BEST BET) is racing in strong form and scored a smart win over 1400m here on January 16. He was never on the track and had to work hard before scoring. He does go up 2kg to 60.5kg for the effort but Nikita Beriman keeps the ride and he has drawn on the inside in four. He has a perfect scorecard with one start for one win at this track. Should get nice odds here.
No4 WESSELS came on strongly to finish sixth over 1400m at Hamilton last start. Good chance.
No1 VOLONTIERS fell two starts ago and ran a good fourth at Moe last start. Is on the money.
No5 THREE STRYKES was never on the track and finished on okay over 1400m here last start.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 THREE STRYKES
No5 CONDAMINE loves this track with an outstanding record of two starts for a win and a second. Last start ran a decent sixth when the field was strung out over 1600m at Pakenham back in July. Goes well fresh with two starts for a win and a third.
No2 BIRDS OF TOKYO gets the bonus of top rider Damian Lane to steer from gate four. Should relish the drop back to country racing after running sixth over 1400m at Sandown against her own sex on December 30.
No6 PERUGGIA is a three-year-old colt and has improvement. Last start ran a solid fourth after losing ground over 1300m at Cranbourne on January 19. He is on the quick back up but has drawn well in gate five. Each-way.
No7 ALMA’S ROSSA was finishing well in a bunched climax to the race running a close fourth over 1400m here on January 14. Carries the same weight on 58kg and Jack Hill keeps the ride. Has the pace to be prominent.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 ALMA’S ROSSA
No3 INDERNILE (BEST BET) looks to be on the up after a good effort to win first-up over 1200m here on January 16. The three-year-old was heavily backed into a $2.05 favourite and did tire at the end. However, he was entitled to after resuming from an 18-week spell. Patrick Maloney again rides and he stays on the same weight on 58kg. Looks one of the better bets on this card.
*SCRATCHED* No10 LA RENARDE faced stronger opposition when was finishing on well to run seventh over 1100m at Caulfield last start.
*SCRATCHED* No6 UNDER OATH having his first start for new trainer Henry Dwyer and transferring from embattled trainer Robert Smerdon. Should go well.
No2 BALCAZAR capped last campaign with a good third. Has an excellent record fresh of two starts for a win.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 BALCAZAR
No7 FILLE DE CHARLIE was given a four-week break after a fighting fourth over 1200m against her own sex at Sandown on January 3. She drew wide that day in 10 and sped across to run well to the like and finish on the heels of the major place-getters. Drawn gate two here.
No8 PENALTY put her best foot forward when scoring a clever win over 1209m against 3yr Fillies in a maiden at Yarra Valley on January 9. She is drawn wide in gate 11 but Damian Lane keeps the ride and she goes up a half-kilo to 57.5kg.
No6 INVINCIBLE AMICI was a smarty winner at her debut over 1000m three starts ago. Last start she ran a solid third over 1000m against her own sex at Cranbourne on a Heavy track on January 12. She is back on top of the ground.
No4 ABERS SOLUTELY (BEST ROUGHIE) ran successive seconds in three starts before finishing a close sixth over 1300m at Colraine on August 12. She was spelled and makes her comeback today and goes well fresh. Has the speed to lead.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 ABERS SOLUTLEY