Melbourne “racing central” heads to the bayside provincial precinct of Mornington for one of Victoria’s great carnival days. Headed by the Mornington Cup – a qualifying race for the Caulfield Cup – the meeting also features the Mornington Guineas, Mornington Sires’ and the Hareeba Stakes for the sprinters.
The forecast for Mornington is cloudy with showers expected and the possibility of a thunderstorm toward the evening. The track is expected to play as a Good4. The Rail will be in the True position for the entire circuit.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 3,8,9 – 1,11 – 4,6,13 – 5,6
Wide Play: 2,3,8,9,11 – 1,3,4,6,8,11 – 4,5,6,8,11,13 – 3,5,6,7,8
BEST BET: R3 – 1. LOUIE THE LEGEND
Next Best Bet: R8 – 13. SHEEZDASHING
Best Roughie: R5 – 4. MY PAISANN
No1 DANCE WITH FONTEIN Tough mare who rarely runs a bad race. Swooped to beat Clipper 955m Moonee Valley Mares 57kg BM84 Feb. 16 then fought gamely for 3.25-length fifth Demonstrate Flemington straight 1000m 56.5kg Mar. 10. Carried 59kg in beating Appalachian Annie 1000m Sandown Soft5 five runs earlier May 10. Has 60.5kg here with Ethan Brown’s claim. Better around a bend and will make her presence felt.
No6 ROCKETS RED GLARE Loves this track – two wins and a second from three starts – and is racing in career-best form having his races spaced. Worked home hard for 3.25-length third Roddandtodd 955m Moonee Valley BM70 58.5kg Feb. 9 then over-raced early when caught deep without cover when 1.15-length fourth Sacred Sham 1000m Bendigo BM70 58.5kg Deb. 28. Nice and fresh for this but drawn wide will need cover in early stages.
No4 MATTY Lightly-raced gelding who returned from a 49-week spell with an eye-catching 2-length second Sprightly Lass 955m Moonee Valley BM78 Mar. 2. Won his first three starts in a five-start campaign previously and has plenty of ability. Nicely drawn in barrier 2 and will strip fitter.
No3 GIBBON First two Moonee Valley runs from a spell were crackers then came off a 4-week freshen-up and run peaked when 6-length seventh Our Gladiator 955m BM78 last Friday. Placed here at three of four starts and will be finishing gamely.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 GIBBON
No7 ASHLEE MARIE Has returned in great form with placings last two runs. Half-length second Ceylon 1600m Fillies and Mares BM78 Pakenham 59kg Feb. 8 then led and fought on again when 1.25-length second Miss Danni similar event 58.5kg Feb. 14. Facing tougher company males here but will appreciate the significant weight drop.
No5 BRIMHAM ROCKS Imported galloper with four wins from 11 starts between 2340m and 2787m. Has been gelded since entering the stable of Chris Waller who has an excellent record with imported stayers. Watch the market.
No3 SHOREHAM Not far away two runs since beating Guizot 1700m BM84 58.5kg Caulfield Dec. 16. Beaten 5.4-length fifth Double Bluff 2400m Caulfield 55kg Mar. 3. At peak after five runs this campaign.
No6 CHARLEVOIX Didn’t do much first-up for 20-weeks when 7.25-length eighth of nine Kings Will Dream 1600m Flemington BM84 56kg Feb. 17. Won over 2580m Cranbourne and 2520m Flemington in previous campaign. Looking for further but can improve.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 BRIMHAM ROCKS
No1 LOUIE THE LEGEND (BEST BET) Really responded to blinkers going on at second start when he pressured the leaders early, took a sit then pounced to beat Resurge and Gheedaa 1400m Pakenham 2YO Maiden 58kg Mar. 15. Meets Gheedaa on same weight terms for a length. The one to beat.
No6 GHEEDAA Placed at all four starts to date and has to among the main chances. Eased in betting when 1.25-length third Metronome Moonee Valley Fillies Hcp Mar. 2 then fav when plugging 0.75-length third Louie The Legend 1400m Pakenham Maiden 56kg Mar. 15. Blinkers go off and winkers on here.
No2 MUSWELLBROOK Will be improved on debut fifth Sunset Watch Ballarat 1200m 2-Yr Maiden Mar. 12. Should be more competitive over the longer distance here.
No7 PEACEFUL SOLUTION Eased at start but worked home solidly when debut fourth 1.6-length behind Louie The Legend 1400m Pakenham 54.5kg Mar. 15. That was an eye-catching run and further improvement should offset the slight rise in weight. Respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 PEACEFUL SOLUTION
No5 FREEHEARTED Has recorded three wins and two placings from only six starts. Sat deep but still too good for Avapardi 1200m BM64 57.5kg Sandown Lakeside Feb. 7 then had a tough run and pulled up lame when photo third Castelo, Haski 1200m Moonee Valley BM70 57kg Feb.23. Ethan Brown’s 2kg allowance is a big assist and she looks the one to beat.
No8 SO FAR SOKOOL Form when last in work was very strong and should sprint well off an 11-week break. Beat Divine Command 1514m Moonee Valley Fillies and Mares BM64 58kg Dec. 8 then lost a plate in running 2.75-length fourth Soho Ruby 1400m Flemington similar event 58.5kg Jan. 1. Gets a nice weight drop here and drawn to get a gun run.
No3 COSTA BOMB Trained-off last couple of runs last campaign and looks like a mare who races best fresh. Won over 1200m Geelong Synthetic Aug. 15 and beat Jeanneau and Petition 1300m Sandown Fillies and Mares BM70 Soft5 Sept. 6. Rates highly on that form.
No11 NIAMH CHINN OIR Has come back well and gets in here with very light weight. Won Balnarring 1050m Mar. 11 then chased hard for 1.25-length second Working From Home 1200m Moonee Valley Fillies and Mares BM70 last Friday.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 NIAMH CHINN OIR
No4 MY PAISANN (BEST ROUGHIE) Former Kiwi who showed excellent potential in last campaign and has to be respected at first run for 28 weeks. Came from last to nab Revolving Door, Enigman 1400m Caulfield 3yr-old 54kg July 1 then caught wide throughout when third Nikitas same trip 55kg July 15. One to watch.
No1 RICH LUCK Won five of first seven starts - Pakenham twice, Warrnambool and Geelong twice - before second-up 12th Mr Sneaky, Theanswermyfriend 1200m BM78 61.5kg Sep. 2. Improved by two recent trials and a solid first-up showing is on the cards.
No7 BRAHMOS Has won two of only five starts and showing promise. First-up sixth Oscietra 1000m Ballarat BM64 61kg Feb. 25 then fought back tenaciously to beat Coruscate 1200m Pakenham BM70 Good3 58kg Mar. 8. Drops 2kg and nicely drawn.
No10 TIGGER Had a tough run first-up for 57-weeks when 1.8-length fifth Brahmos 1200m BM70 58.5kg Pakenham Mar. 8. Meets Brahmos 2kg better here and will strip fitter. Excellent chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 MY PAISANN
No3 I’M WESLEY High-class Tasmanian sprinter racing in top form. Won six straight at Devonport and Launceston before resuming from a 12-week let-up to fight on gamely for a photo second Secret Agenda 1000m Listed Hoysted Hcp Flemington 55kg Mar. 3. Goes up 4kg here to the same weight he carried in beating Hellova Street 1400m Listed race Launceston Dec. 6 before spelling. Working well at this track in preparation and will take tossing.
No8 LUCKY LIBERTY Raced out of her class when she took on Group1 horses and faded to 4-length 10th Redkirk Warrior 1200m Flemington Newmarket iMar. 10. Ran home strongly previous outing for 1.25-length second Ken’s Dream same trip BM90 60kg Feb. 17. Meets Stellar Collision 4.5kg better for 0.7-length margin when third to that horse 1200m Caulfield 54kg Boxing Day. Nicely placed here and rates highly.
No9 SCHISM Really hit her straps in last campaign, winning three on end - Flemington twice and Caulfield – before running out of gas when last Now Or Later 1400m G2 Blazer Stks Flemington 55kg Oct. 7. Has won first-up three out of four campaigns and should be cherry ripe for this.
No2 STELLAR COLLISION Racing in great form with wins at Morphettville and Caulfield and three placings from last five outings. Overcame a bump at 200m to beat Go The Journey 1200m Morphettville 57kg Feb. 17 then ranged up to win at 50m but unable to haul in It’s Been A Battle Listed Matrice Stakes same trip Mar. 12. Drawn perfectly and should land in the box seat here. One of the main dangers.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 SCHISM
No11 KINGS WILL DREAM Has won his last five races – including his final run in England – but stepping up to a staying trip for the first time. Easily accounted for Notio 1600m Flemington BM84 55.5kg Feb. 17 then sprinted clear final 200m and eased down to win by 1.25-length Riyadh, Sin To Win 1800m BM990 there 55.5kg Mar. 10. Will have done plenty of work to have him ready for the 2400m and looks the one to beat.
No1 LORD FANDANGO Proven stayer who won the Benalla Cup and 2400m Herbert Power Handicap before a solid fourth to Boom Time in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup. Improved by three runs this time in and showed he was nearing his best with a solid 2.35-length seventh Harlem 2000m Australian Cup at Flemington Mar. 10. Giving away a fair amount of weight to other fancies but he has class on his side.
No3 CISMONTANE Winner of the 2500m Group 3 Lexus on Derby Day then led them up before finishing 12-len 13th Group 1 Melbourne Cup 3200m three days later. Was given a strong hit-out first-up in preparation for this when he led and battled on the 3.45-length fifth Homesman 2000m Caulfield Listed race 56kg Feb. 24. Has trialled since and won’t be lacking too much in fitness as he comes to hand quickly in a preparation.
No8 GOLDEN MANE Placed last three runs including game 2-length third Homesman, Almandin 2000m Caulfield Mornington Cup Prelude 54kg Feb. 24. One of the chances.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 CISMONTANE
No13 SHEEZDASHING (NEXT BEST BET) Raced in Group company for fillies last campaign and hasn’t had any luck in two runs this time in. Couldn’t get clear first-up 2.7-length fourth Bowerman 1200m Moonee Valley BM64 Mar. 2 then struggled for room from 600m when 4.8-length fifth Holbien 1400m Flemington 54kg last Saturday. Nicely placed in this company.
No6 SILVERHAWK Big, long-striding grey who kicked 3-length clear at 200m in beating Mujaadil 1600m Caulfield Maiden 58kg Feb. 21 then headed at 200m but fought on well for 2.25-length third Leicester. Think Bleue Sandown1600m BM70 57kg Mar. 14. Improving with racing and will give a good account of himself again.
No4 PERUGGIA Struck a winning vein of form. Held up near 400m before working clear final 50m over Valiant Spirit 1600m Moonee Valley BM70 58kg Feb. 9 then overhauled Sensational Ally 1600m BM70 58.5kg there Mar. 2. Drawn to get a good run and will go well.
No8 PARSIFAL Won last two at Ballarat – 1400m Maiden Feb. 18 and BM64 same trip Mar. 7. Lightly-raced gelding on the way up and worth some thought.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 SHEEZDASHING
No5 HEPTAGON Has won three times in seven starts and only missed a place once. Held up for a run when close third Call Me Handsome 1400m Ballarat BM78 55kg Feb. 25 then came from last to nab Kazio 1400m Sandown BM70 56kg Mar. 14. Drops in weight here with Chris Caserta’s 2kg claim and is drawn to get the perfect run. Hard to beat.
No6 OUR PEAKY BLINDERS Came off a seven week lay-off to beat Simply Invincible 1400m Pakenham BM70 59kg Feb. 15 then just failed to catch Call Me Handsome 1600m Ballarat BM78 57kg Mar. 7. Fitter now and will take tossing.
No8 KAZIO Beat Expinsive second-up 1419m Sale BM70 57.5kg Soft6 Feb. 20 then made run with winner when photo second Heptagon 1400m BM70 Sandown 57.5kg Mar. 14. Meets Heptagon 1.5kg better here and has to be a chance.
No3 MA JONES Caught the eye first-up when 2.75-length third Spanish Reef, Miss Adequate 1400m Flemington Fillies and Mares BM84 Feb. 17 then well back throughout when eighth Spanish Reef 1600m G3 Matron Stakes Flemington Mar. 10. Quality mare who should be ready to show her best.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 KAZIO