Ballarat has been the focus of some strong racing over recent week and today’s eight-race card again promises to whet the appetite for those punters chasing a challenge and value.
Ruby Sea is a mare with plenty of raw ability and I am looking forward to her making a stylish return in the Hygain Winners Handicap (1400m). The field is only small consisting of a mere nine runners. She is weighted on 59.5kg but all but one of the runners are either carrying more weight or are within a kilo below of her impost so it is not an imposing handicap.
The false rail will be out to 11 metres from the 600m to the winning post and at the true for the remainder. The track is rated as a Good 4 (Monday) and the weather should be fine.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 1 – 4 – 8,10 – 9,10
Wide Play: 1,3,9 – 3,4,6 – 5,8,10,16 – 5,6,9,10
BEST BET: R6 – 4. RUBY SEA
Next Best Bet: R4 – 12. ZEEBREEZ
Best Roughie: R3 – 6. SAM SLICK
No6 OF IMPORTANCE with the stable of Mick Price firing on all cylinders must consider here with a back to the country effort following a debut sixth over 1000m in Group 3 at Caulfield on February 3. Was liked at $7.50 and can improve.
No9 STAR ORDER had no luck at the start and stormed home late to finish a strong 7th over 1000m at Moonee Valley on February 16. Was liked in the betting at $6 and Blue Diamond winning rider Jordan Childs rides.
No2 FIERA VISTA is from the State’s premier stable and is bred to run being by Golden Slipper winner Sebring. Melbourne’s leading rider Damian Lane comes to ride and despite having no trial form would keep close tabs on.
No1 AMPHITRITE is the stablemate to Fiera Vista and is a lovely bred filly by leading sire Exceed And Excel. This filly does have two trial placings to her credit over 900m at Echuca and 1000m at Tatura so she may be more forward. Watch betting.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 AMPHITRITE
No4 KEV’S LAD was not wanted in the betting out to $31 but showed plenty of speed and courage to run a strong second over 1000m maiden here on February 18. Jarrod Fry keeps the ride and is well drawn in six.
No1 COSMOLOGICAL showed improvement at first start back from a 26-week spell with a strong second over 1000m at Yarra Valley on February 15. Nicely bred and he defied a betting ease. Is a strong chance.
No3 HONOURABLE MENTION could do no better than win at his sole trial over 900m at Cranbopurne on February 19. He went to the line comfortably and drawn in three should get a cosy run.
No7 VOICEOVER the blinkers go on again. Was having second start back from a spell when running a good third over 1100m maiden at Warrnambool on February 22. The gate is good in four and from an astute yard.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 VOICEOVER
No1 CONNERY gets an important gear change with the blinkers going on for the first time. Was finishing on well when ran fourth in a 1400m maiden at Ballarat on February 18. That was first-up from a long spell and will be fitter.
No3 HAN XIN drops from city to country maiden here. Ran a solid over 1523m maiden at Moonee Valley on February 9. That was first-up from a 29-week spell and did receive good support with bookmakers.
No9 PELONOMENA gets ace rider Damian Lane and from the top yard of Darren Weir. Was a grand effort at second start to run second over 1400m maiden here on February 25. She will be further improved for the two starts this prep.
No6 SAM SLICK (BEST ROUGHIE) has been placed at three of his six starts. Latest he ran a solid sixth when laying in over 1400m maiden here on February 18. Loses nothing with Daniel Thornton to be his new partner.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 SAM SLICK
No12 ZEBREEZ (NEXT BEST BET) looks to be a top bet here with three strong seconds at her three starts. She is a three-year-old filly facing her own sex in a maiden and she showed she was on key to break-through with a strong second over 1400m maiden at Pakenham on February 15. She goes up a half-kilo to 57.5kg but Ben Thompson stays on board and the stable is going well.
No7 JOIE DE DREAM just missed a breakthrough win last start as a warm $3.20 favourite. Is the danger.
No11 THINK CATHY racing in most consistent form in this class and rates as a chance.
No4 BLACKJACK LASS Has been working hard in her races and she will be thereabouts again despite drawn in 11.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 THINK CATHY
No1 HOPE YA DON’T MIND has been a model of consistency and comes here off a strong second over 1113m at Sale on February 20. The filly does rise 2kg for her efforts in a lower grade here. Has the class to combat.
No3 VINTAGE QUARTZ has a great first-up record of three starts for a win, a second and a third. With apprentice Fred Kersley’s 2kg claim will drop to 58.5kg and the mare is sure to be primed for a crack shot from the yard of Team Hayes.
No10 SEA OF STARS the tongue control; bit goes on and the tongue tie comes off. Showed she was primed with a good second in an 800m trial at Cranbourne on February 5. She has had heaps of time to improve further.
No7 FALLING WATERS is from a hot stable and will relish the lower grade here on her last-start fourth over 1000m at Moonee Valley on February 9. Stable rider Patrick Maloney comes out to ride and well drawn in three.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 FALLING WATERS
*SCRATCHED* No4 RUBY SEA (BEST BET) is a classy four-year-old mare who is resuming from a 32-week spell. She gets experienced rider Luke Nolen to steer and has a race record of two wins and two seconds at six starts. She has a city win at Sandown to her credit and brilliant first-up win at Cranbourne. She is drawn perfectly in gate two to get a soft run and the distance is very much to her liking.
No5 CEDAR GRANDE winkers come off for the first time. Goes okay fresh and is the stablemate to Ruby Sea.
No6 PARSIFAL won his maiden stylishly at his second career start here. Must rate highly despite rise in class.
No5 EAGLE SPIRIT fought tooth and nail to score a narrow win at Werribee last start. Is in the mix.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 EAGLE SPIRIT
No10 OUR PEAKY BLINDERS is a Kiwi galloper who stormed to a brilliant win over 1400m at Pakenham on February 15. Top rider Dwayne comes to town to stay on top and the five-year-old drops 2kg to 57kg.
No8 SOHOOL gave all hear to run a tough second over 1600m at Caulfield on February 21. Was well supported into $4.20 and with Damian Lane coming to town to ride out to seek revenge.
No5 CALL ME HANDSOME with the 2kg claim of Fred Kersley gets in nice on 57.5kg. He has been a star for consistency with two wins and three placings from his past five starts. Won here last start carrying 57kg.
No16 ELLE O’LOVE with top rider Linda Meech the new rider comes into calculations. Last start ran a good third over 1600km here on February 18. The four-year-old mare drops 1.5kg to 55.5kg here and rates.
VALUE RUNNER: No16 ELL O’LOVE
No10 MOUSAI has a great first-up record and hails from the top yard of Team Hayes with top rider Luke Nolen to jump from barrier seven. Gets some major gear changes with the blinkers and the tongue tie off for the first time.
No9 STAR SEARCH was specked at double figure odds before chasing hard to run a close second over 1200m at Caulfield on February 21. Stable rider Dwayne Dunn rides for Team Hawkes and this is his third start from a spell.
No5 THUNDER CLOUD has the blinkers coming off for the first time. He is a last-start winner over 1600m maiden at Sandown last March. Has shown plenty of ability at only seven starts and would respect despite racing first-up for 49 weeks.
No6 ARCTUROS broke the ice with a good win at his fourth start over 1600m maiden at Swan Hill back in September. Resuming from a 24-week spell and has the in-form Jordan Childs to jump from barrier one.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 ARCTUROS