Instead of twilight racing at Sandown this week we have it at Caulfield with the first race kicking off at 4pm and the last race being run at 7.30pm. This is a difficult card, with deep fields in many of the races, would suggest punters watch for any serious betting moves to finding winners.
There is plenty to like about Sirius Suspect (Race 7), apart from the quirky name, with the three-year-old exhibiting plenty of raw talent at his two starts with a win and a third.
Trainer Darren Weir has been accepting but then scratching in a ploy to find the most suitable race to launch his city campaign, after a debut third at Kyneton and a win at Ballarat. With Weir’s stalwart rider Brad Rawiller to ride on 58.5kg - which is a half-kilo more than he carried when he cruised home by 1.25 lengths at Ballarat over 1200m on February 3 - he appeals as a very safe bet and at good odds at $4.40.
Team Hayes have continued their domination of the two-year-old races this season and their youngster Nasaayim can give punters a good start in the first race. The filly is hard to fault with a win as an odds-on favourite and a second at her two starts. The track is rated as a Good 3 and the false rail will be shifted right out to 14 metres, which could make things trickier. The day is forecast to be fine but overcast.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 1,8 – 7,8 – 8 – 8,14
Wide Play: 1,2,38 – 5,7,8,11 – 5,7,8,11 – 7,8,14,15
BEST BET: R7 – 8. SIRIUS SUSPECT
Next Best Bet: R8 – 8. PARET
Best Roughie: R4 – 8. NEAR QUEUE
No7 NASAAYIM had looked a good thing beaten at debut when a narrow second and rewarded the faithful with a flawless 2.25 length win in a 1200m maiden at Ballarat on January 30. She is down a half-kilo to 56.5kg here.
No1 SEBERATE faces easier opposition here than at his last start when running a good fourth in the Blue Diamond Prelude (1000m) here on February 10. Was backed from $21 into $15 last start and looks a strong chance here.
No2 SYD’S COIN was not wanted in the betting easing out from $10 to $19 before scoring a strong win over an 1100m maiden at Bendigo on February 9. Top rider Craig Williams keeps the ride and drawn four gets another nice rails run.
No4 TITAN BLINDERS gets two critical gear changes with the blinkers and the tongue tie going on for the first time. Last start ran a solid sixth despite hanging badly and getting tightened in running over 1100m Blue Diamond Prelude on February 10.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 TITAN BLINDERS
No6 MUJAADIL is a nicely bred three-year-old who has been right on the hammer at his two starts, but this is a deep maiden. Latest he ran a strong second over 14000m in a maiden at Sandown on February 7. Gets his chance.
No12 SOPRESSA has finished inside the money at four of her past five starts. Latest she did lay in but finished well when running second in a 1400m maiden at Terang on January 31. Darren Weir has booked Ben Allen to ride from a superior alley in six.
No5 MAGLEV was racing first-up from a 30-week spell when finishing a good third over 1405m in a maiden at Sale on February 4. Beau Mertens keeps the ride and the colt stays on the same weight on 58kg but has a superior alley in one.
No7 SAVVY KEN showed vast improvement at first-up start when reeling off ahead of the pack and fighting hard to narrowly go down over 1400m maiden at Sandown on January 31. Does go up a kilo to 58kg and drawn 15.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 SAVVY KEN
No3 CULLINGWORTH copped a bad check at the 200m when the winner when cruising past before finishing third over 1600m at Moonee Valley on February 2. John Allen replaces Ben Allen and the Irish import gets his chance.
No7 HE EKSCELS resumed from a 38-week spell in glory with a fighting win over 1400m at the Sapphire Coast on February 4. Will jump from barrier two and gets the red hot Damien Oliver to ride on 56.5kg – a 2kg drop in weight.
No2 SOHOOL faces some class opposition when finishing seventh to Morton’s Fork over 1700m here on January 27. Had previously notched straight wins over 1300m and 1600m at Sandown and Flemington and carries only 57kg with the 2kg claim.
No8 TOP OF THE RANGE was first-up from a 33-week spell when finishing sixth over 1400m at Caulfield on January 27. Was taken to Queensland for the feature three-year-old races last winter and has a spotless record second-up.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 TOP OF THE RANGE
No2 DIAPASON has had a lot to like about her past two efforts over 1400m against her own sex in the city. She will carry 56kg for the drop in class and was running on well when finishing sixth over 1400m here last start on January 27.
No1 ASTARA ran a good second over 1600m at Pakenham on February 8. She gets the red hot apprentice Stephanie Thornton to ride today and her 3kg claim reduces her weight down to a comfortable 57kg.
No8 NEAR QUEUE (BEST ROUGHIE) had to work hard from out wide to lead at the 900m until the 300m. Battled on steadily to finish a sound sixth over 1600m at Sandown on February 7. Drops 3.5kg to the limit on 54kg here.
No3 RISING HOPE showed plenty of tenacity to run second over 1800m against her own sex at Sandown on January 31. She only rises a half-kilo to 56kg and Ben Allen keeps the ride from barrier eight. Has appeal.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 NEAR QUEUE
No8 THINK BLEUE is matched against six other last start winners in this fillies’ only race. Spread out her rivals with an effortless win over 1400m at Ballarat on February 6 with 57.5kg in a maiden. Jordan Turner’s 1.5kg reduces her impost here to 58kg.
No1 LUCKY CAT has been placed second and third at her past two starts at this track. Latest she ran on hard to finish third over 1400m here on February 3. She is drawn well in gate four but is up 5.5kg to 60kg.
No10 PAGEANTRY ran a great second over 1400m against her own sex at Pakenham on February 1. She only missed catching the winner by centimetres when plunged as a $2.90 favourite. Has to overcome a wide gate in 12.
No2 SO YOU LEICA kicked off her career on a high with a smart win over 1400m maiden at Warrnambool on January 7. She then ran an unlucky eighth over 1600m at Sandown on January 31. Good hope.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 SO YOU LEICA
No8 MISS DANNI scored a brilliant 1.25 length win against her own sex over 2100m at Sandown last Wednesday. She is on the quick back up but gets Dwayne Dunn to ride again from an inside alley in five. This is not strong.
No11 POPIHOLLA just missed the major prize in a swamping finish running second to Eaton over 2400m at Sandown on January 31. Ben Allen is the new rider and he has a great alley in four to get a cruising run. Good showing.
No7 GREAT LANE was held up between the 400m to the 300m before flourishing home to run second over 2100m at Sandown on February 7. Craig Williams replaces John Allen and drops 2kg to 58.5kg here.
No5 EATON carried 58.5kg to score a fighting win over 2400m at Sandown on January 31. He goes up a half-kilo to 59kg and gets the hot jockey Damien Oliver to ride again from gate nine. Wider draw this time but form is good.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 GREAT LANE
No8 SIRIUS SUSPECT (BEST BET) is a lightly raced youngster with plenty of upside. Showed further improvement at his second start to post a clever win over 1200m in a maiden at Kyneton on February 3. He goes up a half-kilo to 58.5kg today but experienced rider Brad Rawiller stays on top and can see yet further improvement in this three-year-old son of Wanted. The trip definitely suits too.
No5 PERFECT COMMAND is on a short seven-day back up but gets hot junior Stephanie Thornton’s 3kg claim to reduce impost to 56.5kg
No10 THIEVING MINX from an astute stable and with Ethan Brown’s claim carries 55.5kg.
No2 AMERICAN GENIUS ran a nice fourth at Morphettville last start and drops a half-kilo to 58.5kg with Fred Kersley’s 2kg claim.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 AMERICAN GENIU
No8 PARET (NEXT BEST BET) has the hot jockey Damien Oliver to ride at his first start back from a spell. Trainer Chris Waller gave him a nice warm up when running second over 1030m trial at Rosehill on February 5. The three-year-old has won and been placed third at four starts and has plenty of room for further improvement. He also goes very well fresh and has drawn on the rail. Makes a strong case.
No14 OVER AND ABOVE went one better at his second start to post a strong win over a 1200m maiden at Sandown on February 7.
No15 HULME has been gelding during his spell and Mick Price is running hot. He was given a soft trial when running seventh over 1000m at Geelong on January 29.
No2 CRITCICAL THINKING with the 3kg claim will carry 58.5kg. Ran home strong last start over 1300m at Sandown a fortnight ago.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 CRITICAL THINKING