Champagne set to flow
Hard to go past 1. CHAMPAGNE BOOM who was just so impressive winning on debut at Caulfield. Got the split the right time and showed tremendous acceleration to win running away. And don’t forget she was slowly away as well. Can only be improved and will be too good for these. A couple of first starters to watch in 11. SISSTAR and 12. STILL SINGLE. Sisstar is the full sister to Coolmore Stud Stakes champ Sunlight and looked good winning a trial at Benalla last week under good hold. Has the winkers on for her debut and looks pretty talented. Still Single trialled at Rosehill and was ridden out a little to score a comfortable win. In powerful stable and looks have plenty of scope about her. 9. LANKAN STAR wasn’t asked to do too much in a recent Flemington jump out and hails from a very strong stable.
1. MRS GARDENIA is going to appreciate a drop in grade. Thought she did well a leader dominated race behind Shoko at the Valley last weekend and was only beaten a length by G1 winner I Am A Star at the Valley three runs back. Drawn to advantage and she should get lovely run here to offset her big weight. 2. SAMOVARE looks the danger. Finished just behind Mrs Gardenia in that I Am A Star race and then did well when fighting on behind the dead heaters Mask Of Time and Best Of Days and Life Less Ordinary at Caulfield. Best Days franked the form by winning a G1 yesterday and Life Less Ordinary ran a great race behind him. She’ll also welcome a drop in grade and normally goes well here. 5. MAMZELLE TESS is holding her form well and just failed to nab Shoko at the Valley. Placed in G2 grade here before that. Slight concern 1700m but drawn the rails and will get a soft run just off speed. 8. MISS SISKA wasn’t disgraced behind Shumookh in G2 grade at Caulfield and can threaten here.
13. HAUNTED looks a promising type. He beat subsequent Moonee Valley winner Tamasa comfortably at Geelong before giving nothing else a chance to win down the straight here. Just held up a vital time and lost momentum when third to Superhard at Moe last start. Looking for the 1400m now, suited this big track and sure to be in the firing line. 10. FIFTY STARS is also pretty talented and had respiratory issues when fighting hard behind Manuel at Caulfield three weeks ago an odds-on favourite. Has overcome those issues and this track looks perfect for him. Haunted’s stablemate 12. BEAU GESTE rates a chance here. Caught the eye when running on late behind Mahalangur at Randwick last month. Hasn’t been south of the border since his fine fourth in Sandown Guineas last year. Has blinkers on and can threaten these. 4. SUNCRAZE has a big weight and a wide draw but he’ll get back in the field and will be saved for one last shot at them. His Sydney form is good enough to win this. 1. MAN FROM UNCLE (ready for this trip), 8. MASCULINO (can go well fresh) and 9. ECLAIR CALLING (helped by drop in distance) are other hopes.
Reckon 2. BERISHA can surprise this lot. He made up some good late ground behind Red Alto in the Bendigo Cup after having some late support in betting. Back in April, he dead-heated with Sin To Win when beaten narrowly by Gallic Chieftain over the 2500m here. The extra distance here won’t trouble him at all, will get back and be storming home. Great value. 1. SIN TO WIN won’t know himself back in class after contesting the G1 Metrop at Randwick and chasing home Cup hotpot Yucatan at Caulfield. Invariably races well this track and did win the 3200m Ramsden Stakes here in May. Just needs some luck with his big weight. The query runner is 10. SHRAAOH. Imported galloper in the powerful Waller stable. Hasn’t been seen in trials and jumpouts but English form is okay. Watch for a better showing from 6. REZEALIANT. Down in grade after running against Yucatan and then in the Bendigo Cup. He did finish second to Runaway in the St Leger here in April.
7. FINE DANE shows a lot of promise. Bolted in on debut at Moe and then only beaten half length by Written By at Caulfield. Looked a little unlucky when beaten lip behind Beauty at Bendigo and then that horse franked the form by winning at Moonee Valley. Lot to like about his form lines for a race this. Big chance. 6. CHABREET comes down from Sydney on the back on a pretty soft trial win at Randwick. Didn’t handle wet behind Sesar at Randwick but nice effort when placed at Warwick Farm before that. Definite contender. 1. NOMOTHAJ is two from two at this course and distance and given a soft time in a recent jumpout here. 3. LEGEND OF CONDOR did well against the smart Diplomatico at Randwick and has some quality. Would have preferred 1200m for him but bound to be running on.
Cracking effort by 12. MIRETTE in the Thousand Guineas last start. Tracked three and four wide without cover on speed, was entitled to drop out the turn but then fought bravely to be beaten just over two lengths. Bolted in at Benalla before that and was a close second to Vassilator here May. Only needs to reproduce her last effort test these. 17. NOTATION is an interesting runner. Unbeaten in two starts and looked very good winning at Cranbourne last start. Attacked for the lead most of the way but still able to kick on straightening and gave nothing else a chance in a soft win. This is much harder but she’s drawn to sit on speed and could take catching. 9. INTO THE ABYSS has drawn the car park but if she can get some cover, she’s in with a hope. Looked a little unlucky behind Beauty at the Valley last week. 1. ENBIHAAR (good start) and 13. POHUTUKAWA (nice win in Sydney last start) are other chances.
I see no reason not to stick with 1. BEST SOLUTION. Class animal who showed his quality winning the Caulfield Cup in emphatic fashion. Began well, got himself into a lovely position but then got flushed out earlier than hoped at the 800m mark and had to sustain a long run to hold on score. That’s what I like about this bloke. No matter what the tempo, he’s able to hit top speed and sustain it for quite a distance, as he has shown in Europe. Has form around the likes of Hawkbill and Poet’s Word, which most of other Europeans in this don’t, and he thrashed Muntahaar at Newmarket July. Sure he’s got a big weight and he’s never been to this trip but I don’t think he could have fared better at the barrier draw. Not much speed drawn inside him so he will be able to park himself in a good spot, allow the speed types out wide cruise across to give him cover and then just needs an ounce of luck before the straight to show his fighting qualities. Best chance Godolphin has ever had of winning the great race. 23. CROSS COUNTER is a young stayer who has a luxury weight and formlines that are impressive. He was very good chasing home Old Persian at York, beating Kew Gardens who then came out and thrashed his rivals in the G1 English St Leger. Only a young horse but there are shades of Rekindling about his preparation. Reckon he’s a big chance. 5. MUNTAHAA is another import with a great hope. He couldn’t challenge Best Solution at Newmarket but then went to York, tracked wide most of the way and then unleashed to win Ebor by a space. Everything suggests he has settled in perfectly since arriving and we do know will see out the distance. 24. ROSTROPOVICH is another lightly weighted import who will have to cross from his wide barrier take up a customary role on speed. Don’t forget this bloke led and was only nabbed late by the high class Latrobe in the Irish Derby. Thought his Cox Plate run was okay and a good hit-out for this. 9. MARMELO (classy stayer on his day), 11. YUCATAN (brilliant last start but can he repeat it from wide draw?), 16. VENTURA STORM (underestimated) and 17. A PRINCE OR ARRAN (very good yesterday) are other chances in a high-class Cup.
Think 7. KIWIA is capable of causing an upset here. Loved the way he attacked the line when a closing fourth behind Iconoclasm at Moonee Valley. He clocked 11.2 for his final 200m which was the fourth fastest all day. Even better suited back to this track, will relish the extra yardage and is a secondup winner. Could be his day. Worried about 11. MURAAQEB who drops sharply in class here. Great effort when fifth the Epsom (finished alongside Shillelagh) and then made ground late behind Land Of Plenty in the Toorak. Kept fresh since, placed two of three at this track and drawn to get a lovely run. 13. KAONIC has also been kept fresh after battling away on the heavy ground at Randwick last start. Much better on top of ground, well weighted and will be storming home. 4. SOVEREIGN NATION can improve here. Does go well at this track and simply not suited the Valley last start. Blinkers off may help too. 16. MAHAMEDEIS (did well behind Best Of Days and Mask Of Time last start) is another leading chance.
Looks a nice race for 6. TREKKING. Had no luck seeing clear galloping room when beaten only two lengths by Brave Song at Caulfield. His previous wins
Randwick and Caulfield were first rate. First try down the straight but he should be able to stay out of trouble and reckon this is his pet trip now. Will be hard to stop. 2. FIRST AMONG EQUALS is a good straight course horse who has been freshened up since failing behind I Am Excited here when found to have poor post-race recovery. Beaten a lip by Dothraki here before that and did beat Divine Quality (brilliant winner yesterday) in May. Big threat in this grade. 5. BRAVE SONG also goes well down the straight and looked good at Caulfield last start even though he got all the favours in the run. Definite threat again. 11. MOONLOVER is going well enough to threaten here with a nice weight.
Both Noire and Resin ran yesterday so are unlikely to run here. If they don’t, makes it a very open race. Prepared give 12. SAVATIANO another chance here. Her run as a hot favourite last start at the Valley was too bad to be true. Seemed to be in the perfect spot and travelling turn but nothing left
tank in the run home. Banking on her appreciating a return to big track here when she was luckless behind Invincibella two runs back. This grade suits as does the fact she’s only a half kilo over limit. Stick with her. Also expecting
much improved run from 1. PEDRENA. Looked in need of the run at Caulfield last start and better placed here. Unbeaten at trip, unbeaten in two tries
this course and distance and has two wins a second from four second up tries. Drawn to get a nice run and rates highly. 5. COOL PASSION can also improve. She has good form around Pedrena and ready to show her best after three runs back. 17. SPANNER HEAD is very honest and will make her own luck near the speed.