Rail moves back into the inside position for the first time since 20/10. This has given the inside lanes plenty of reprieve. With minimal to no rain predicted between now and Saturday we should be betting on a good deck. Strong on-pacers could prove very difficult to get past. Wouldn’t want to be running on from out too wide.
Typically, difficult map. Great Shot (barrier 10) should lead them around with Wrinkly (3), Achernar Star (14) and Iconoclasm (12) pushing forward. Material Man (5), Prized Icon (9) and Man Booker (11) have speed so too do Gatting (1), Perfect Jewel (7) and Disposition (8). Both Peaceful State (4) and Galaxy Star (2) draw terribly to be back on the fence. Rest will join them back to their outside.
1. Material Man (Barrier 5) (L. Warick 57kg): $14*
Carries 4kg more this year than in 2017 when he was only 0.75L behind Great Shot. The additional weight is thanks to winning 4 from 6 since (3 x Group 3 and 1 x Group 2) and placing 2nd twice. Got the better of Great Shot and Gatting over 1400m and 1600m in the Winter. Has trialled up excellently; winning 4 of 5 trails prior to this. Warwick likely wants to keep enough freshness in this gelding’s legs before another tilt at the Perth Cup. Maps forward and should go close at odds.
2. Great Shot (Barrier 10) (C. Staples 55.5kg): $17*
After looking gone with a furlong to go he picked himself up off the canvas to win this event last year. Will attempt to lead all the way again this year with 2kg more on his back. Comes into this year’s event with very similar form lines. Defeated by both Gatting and Achernar Star last start over 1400m, expecting him to set a more genuine tempo here and improve on that effort. Can’t leave him out.
4. Gatting (Barrier 1) (D. Lane 54kg): $12*
Big surprise winner of the G2 Lee Stakes last start, defeating many of his main rivals here in the process. There was some money around for him $81 into $41 despite almost looking in foal in the yard (yes, he is a male). Could only improve his parade off that. Damian Lane to steer mitigates barrier issues, though it’s tough to see him getting as good a run through as he did last start. $12 looks very short for a distance that is certainly below his best.
6. Mister Sea Wolf (Barrier 6) (M. Dee 53.5kg): $14*
Significantly checked at around the 300m mark last start at Flemington in the G1 Kennedy Mile. He picked himself back up to eventually hit the line strongly. Prior to that, he ran on in the G1 Epsom to be beaten only 2.9L. If they overdo it here, he’ll be hitting the line very strongly. Think he’s extremely well found in the market, however.
7. Peaceful State (Barrier 4) (B. Allen 53.5kg): $5*
A drifter in betting, he ran on strongly between runners to finish 3rd by 1L in the Kennedy Mile. He faced similar map issues drawing barrier 2 there and overcame them with a good Ben Allen steer. 1600m with a fast tempo is his ideal race having placed 0.5L behind Grunt in the Australian Guineas earlier this year. He was at his top for the Kennedy Mile, there is concern if this is an afterthought. With that in mind and him needing plenty of luck from 4 we’ll let him go around at $5.
9. Action (Barrier 15) (P. Carbery 53kg): $12*
Well backed late last start, hovering around $2 all the way through betting. Horror watch for those who stepped into the short quote as he was completely blocked for room until about 100m to go. It was hard to tell if he would’ve won as he hit the line only fairly when he was out. Drawing out should alleviate him of traffic issues here and the fast tempo + extra 100m should suit being a Derby winner earlier this year (by a lazy 4 lengths). Can improve in condition, one for the exotics.
11. Galaxy Star (Barrier 2) (W. Pike 53kg): $3.30*F
This mare has started favourite at every one of her 12 starts and only been at black odds in one of them. On SP profile $3.30 would look enticing. However, she was beaten narrowly by Man Booker two starts back who then failed behind Gatting, Great Shot and Achernar Star last start after getting a perfect run. Other form around her has been good, thrashing Action by 2.5L at her latest and walking past subsequent Northam Cup winner Pushin’ Shapes (beating Achernar Star) last preparation. All that considered we believe the Pike, Williams’, Peters’ factors have made her shorter than her true odds of winning. Will need a ton of luck from barrier 2 and we’re betting she doesn’t find it.
12. Iconoclasm (Barrier 12) (C. Williams 53kg): $9*
Settled back off-pace last start in the Kennedy Mile, against his normal (best) pattern. Finished off well after improving deep. Only 2.65L from the winner. Two very good wins in good form races the two starts prior. Maps to get an excellent run on-speed from barrier 12 and receives a very positive jockey change from Jye McNeil to the in-form Craig Williams. Peaceful State has got the better of him the last two times they’ve met. However, Iconoclasm did SP a $4.40 favourite in one of those events over 1200m. Exceptional value at $9.
Betting around both favourites due to race shape. Keen to spec a few mapping on-speed at good odds.