A bumper card of nine races awaits punters at Morphettville today. However the early races are light on numbers but do look to have some safe bets from where one can build a significant bank.
Top Victorian trainer Darren Weir has the opening race at his mercy with brilliant stayer Andrea Mantegna and Bondeiger hogging the limelight in a small field of just seven runners over 2400m.
The return of the emerging galloper Counterplay in the third race – the Schweppes Handicap - which is restricted to fillies and mares – much anticipated and she should bounce back on a high.
The false rail will be moved from the True Position of last week to five metres for the entire track. A cool change is forecast for Adelaide after another scorching week of 37C, with a top of 29C tipped after a minimum of 17C. The track should be rated as a Good 4.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 1,6 – 1,7 – 3,6 – 6,11
Wide Play: 1,3,6,8 – 1,3,7 – 3,6,9,11 – 2,6,8,11
BEST BET: R3 – 7. COUNTERPLAY
Next Best Bet: R5 – 1. ITZ INVINCIBLE
Best Roughie: R9 – 10. TYCOON SOFIE
No2 ANDREA MANTEGNA looks to hold a mortgage on this race following his flawless 5.3 length victory over 2250m here on January 27. He only goes up a half-kilo to 58,5kg and meets virtually the same opposition.
No1 BONDEIGER gives top Victorian trainer Darren Weir a stranglehold on this race with Andrea Montegna. Weir has booked Jordan Turner to use his 1.5kg claim to reduce his stallion’s impost to 57.5kg after winning at Moonee Valley.
No6 SPY DECODER ran a solid fourth in the Strathalbyn Cup (2050m) on February 4. With apprentice Victor Wong’s claim he will carry only 52kg – which is 2kg less than he carried in the Cup last start.
No3 TUNES has been around the mark of late and ran a solid sixth over 1950m here on January 20. Clare Lindop keeps the ride but he does go up 2kg to 56.5kg here. Faces meek opposition apart from the Weir runner.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 SPY DECODER
No4 LORD TOPPER has been in blistering form and faces only four other runners in this race. Looking to gain a hat-trick following strong wins over 1400m at Morpheville when backed up week-to-week on January 20 and 27. Down 1.5kg to 54kg.
No1 MIHANY is a six-year-old gelding returning from a long spell. He has not trialled but he does boast a great first-up record of five starts for two wins and a second. Fred Kersley’s 2kg claim drops his weight to 57.5kg.
No3 ABOHAR Has been freshened with a six-week break between starts. Last start she was backed from $18 into $10 to beat Tasmanian hot shot Life On The Wire over 1400m at Sandown on December 30. Strong chance.
No2 STRATEGIC DEMAND is on a seven-day back up following a close fifth over 1200m here last Saturday. Clare Lindop rides again and goes up a kilo to 55kg here.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 STRATEGIC DEMAND
No7 COUNTERPLAY (BEST BET) strikes a small field of only five other runners following a scratching post acceptances. She is resuming from a 13-week spell and has a brilliant fresh record of two starts for a win and a second. Dominic Tourneur rides the Melbourne stakes-placed filly at her return to racing for leading Adelaide trainer Phillip Stokes. Faces milder opposition to her most recent opponents in Melbourne.
No3 INFINITY QUEEN has won at Murray Bridge and looks to have claims as one of the best of the rest.
No5 BAKER’S DOZEN is on a seven-day back up but is down in opposition here on her last-start seventh.
No1 ARTFUL RAMBLER has established an outstanding record at Port Lincoln with four straight wins there.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 ARTFUL RAMBLER
No11 ROCKET SOX faces an open field of three-year-olds here, but looms as one of the better chances with her last start third over 1000m here in a maiden on January 27. Top rider Dom Tourneur rides again but won’t be at double figure odds.
No2 CARIBBEAN WONDER is a Victorian raider coming here after running sixth over 1400m in a maiden at Ballarat on January 24. That was his second start and was just beaten at his debut at Stawell. Respect.
No5 OH MO made a solid debut when running a good third over 1115m in a maiden at Gawler on January 31. The trainer has requested her to be blindfolded into the gates this time and would keep her very safe.
No9 LIGHT THE WAVES is a well-bred Perth three-year-old having his first start for leading trainer Tony McEvoy. He showed maturity when he improved to win a trial over 900m at Murray Bridge on January 11. Keep a watch.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 LIGHT THE WAVES
No1 ITZ INVINCIBLE (NEXT BEST BET) has won and finished third at two starts this campaign. Resumed with a powerful win over 1000m here on December 16. He was then beaten in a close finish when third in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on January 20. He does rise 5kg to 59kg but drops significantly in class today. Paul Gatt keeps the ride and drawn in gate six should get a cosy run.
No4 OLIVIER was narrowly beaten over 1000m here a fortnight ago and looms with good claims.
No6 CERTAIN ELLIE clawed to a narrow but strong win over 1000m at Moonee Valley last start.
No2 SULLIVAN BAY is first-up from an 18-week spell but generally races on the speed.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 SULLIVAN BAY
No6 GAME OF WAR looks ready to fire on all cylinders following a second-up fourth to Lord Topper over 1400m here on January 27. He goes up 1.5kg to 55.5kg today but has Adelaide’s top rider Joe Bowditch to steer.
No1 UNBREAKABLE was narrowly beaten by Lord Topper over 1400m here on January 27. He carried 55kg that day with the 3kg claim of Justin Huxtable. Huxtable rides again and he will carry 58.5kg and has a good alley in two.
No3 STAR FORTUNE ran a great second to Scratchy Lass over 1550m here on January 20. Returns from a three-week break today and goes up 5.5kg to 59.5kg because of the big drop in class. Rates highly.
No8 ENKI looms as one of the better chances with two places and a win from past three starts. Scored an emphatic 4.6 length win at Strathalbyn before finishing second over 1600m at Murray Bridge on January 25. Has no weight on 52kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 STAR FORTUNE
No7 WHITE KAPS was racing off a three-week break when flourished home to run second over 1000m here on January 20. Has again been kept fresh with another three–week gap and carries only 52.5kg with the claim.
No1 ICONIC has the big weight reduced by the 1.5kg claim of Emily Finnegan to 61kg. He carried 62kg to score an effortless 1.8 length win over 1000m here on January 27. That was his third start from a spell and respect.
No8 WITH HOPE was given a soft trail finishing seventh over 1000m here on January 29. Has an excellent record fresh of two starts for a win and a third. She will wear blinkers first-up today and makes appeal.
No3 CLASSY JACK was a brilliant winner over 900m at Murray Bridge two starts ago before running seconds to Iconic over 1000m here on January 27. With the claim of Sairyn Fawkes will carry 57kg – a 2.5kg drop.
No3 BLUE TYCOON with apprentice Fred Kersley’s 2kg claim will carry 57kg. Last start ran home strong for a 1.5 length win as a $3 favourite over 1300m at Cranbourne on January 19. Drops 3kg in weight today and rates highly.
No6 MISS IDENTIFIED ran a close fourth to Battlecamp over 1250m here on January 20. That was her first start for eight weeks and she will carry 54.5kg with the claim of top apprentice Raquel Clarke – a half-kilo more weight.
No9 RUPTURE won well over 1200m here three starts ago. Last start he was backed into a $2.90 favourite before finishing a good second over 1250m here on January 27. Drops 3kg to 55.5kg here.
No4 ZALMONA has been racing in outstanding fashion notching successive wins over 1208m and 1100m at Gawler and at Morphettville. Gets Sairyn Fawkes’ 2kg claim to reduce the weight down to 55kg today.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 ZALMONA
No11 BETALYK will get top apprentice Fred Kersley’s 2kg claim to reduce the weight down to a mere 54kg today. That is 2.5kg less than when running a good sixth over 1200m here last Saturday. She worked home strongly that time.
No6 TAHNEE TIARA has been in splendid form on city and country tracks. Latest she fought hard to score a narrow win over 1400m at Murray Bridge on January 25. With Justin Huxtable’s 3kg claim will carry only 54.5kg
No2 SILENT WARRIOR went out on a high note with a fighting win over 1950m here on November 11. He was heavily backed into a $3.90 favourite that day and with Chris Caserta’s 2kg claim will carry a comfortable 57.5kg.
No10 TYCOON SOFIE (BEST ROUGHIE) returns here from a three-week break after running a sound fourth over 1400m here on January 20. Gets top jockey Shane Cahill to ride on 56.5kg from gate five.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 TYCOON SOFIE