Almandin set for encore
11. SUNLIGHT is a well bred filly by for mer superstar Zoustar out of Solar Charged, herself a crack juvenile filly who was twice a G3 winner and only 2.5 lengths off Crystal Lily in the 2010 Golden Slipper. Looked to have plenty up her sleeve in scoring a soft bar rier trial win at Cranbour ne last month, albeit on heavy g round. Set the tempo throughout in the small field and never extended to win comfor tably. Looks like she has plenty of ability and can go close here. 4. RANIER is from the Godolphin team not seen at the official trials but he is by Lonhro out of Kanzan, who was precocious enough to win her first two star ts as a youngster and then went on in G3 g rade. Well wor th watching here.
3. GRAND CHALLENGE , from the Hayes/Hayes/Daber nig yard, was solid in his recent trial and showed enough to suggest he’ll be prominent here. Watch for 6.
SCOTTISH ROGUE to run a bit of a race. From same stable as Sunlight and nicely bred.
Can’t really see anything taking on 2. SIRCCONI for the lead here. Was super impressive last star t when he got to front, dictated ter ms and then held on to beat the older horses. That was only his second run back from a break and strips even fitter here. Does go up to 58kg but still only 2kg over the limit and back against his own age. No reason to think he can’t re produce that last-star t effor t.
1. TAKING AIM did a g reat job when a close fourth to Catchy down the straight here three weeks ago. He clocked the best final 200m split of race and seems ready to ste p up to 1400m now. Bowman back on board is significant. 7. ESPERANCE didn’t have a lot of luck in the race won by Catchy. His previous two wins in weaker g rade were very good and is another looking for this trip now. 10.
HULME produced g reat closing sectionals when charging home for fourth to Royal Symphony here three weeks ago. His debut win before that was full of merit too. Definite knockout chance.
3. CHAUFFEUR (down from G1 g rade) and 6. ICON OF DUBAI (g apped them last star t) are other hopes.
6. ANIMALIA comes down from Sydney where he is showing considerable staying promise for the Godolphin team. Lot to like about the way he accounted
his rivals at Newcastle last star t, hitting front at the top of the straight and holding his rivals comfortably in run home. Will have no trouble with the extra 200m here, can sit just off the pace and prove too good in run home. 3.
ESHTIRAAK battled on well behind Cliff’s Edge at Caulfield a for tnight ago after he got shuffled back before the turn, was blocked for a run momentarily and then lifted late to be only 2.3 lengths from the winner. Looks like he wants this trip. 1.
CLIFF’S EDGE loves inside draws where is able to camp on pace. Did that last star t effect at Caulfield. Slight query at the trip but drawn to get the gun run again. 4. SUNQUEST is still a maiden that won’t last long. Very honest in this g rade.
16. CORAL COAST could surprise.
I’m going to bank on the fitness levels of 6. SILENT SEDITION. Has a good first-up record (a win and three placings from four tries) and has two wins and three seconds from five tries at the trip. Last first-up effor ts have resulted in close seconds behind Sheidel and Prussian Vixen in Group g rade. Has acted down the straight previously, will settle off the speed and be charging home at right end.
4. SPIETH is lo gical danger. Two of his efforts down the straight have resulted in narrow losses in G1 g rade, including behind Malaguer ra the Darley Classic. Given a month off between runs and he is good when fresh. 3. KEEN ARRAY produced g reat efforts at Moonee Valley twice before a disappointing run behind Bons Away Caulfield a for tnight ago. Better than that and will make his presence felt. 7. BONS AWAY just kee ps raising the bar and kee ps winning. This is tougher ag ain but who’s to say he can’t take that next ste p.
2. WINX wins. 1. HUMIDOR runs second. Then it’s a battle between 3. VENTURA STORM and 6. SIR ISAAC NEWTON for third place. Apar t from watching the best racehorse in the world win, interest will be on how well latter two run, from a Cups viewpoint. Like the way Sir Isaac Newton is ticking over and looking forward to seeing him run home strongly here. RACE 6
3. ANCHOR BID is much better than her last star t effor t when a beaten shor t-priced favourite indicates. Pulled up with a poor post-race recovery in finishing sixth to Pinot at F lemington 10 days ago. Scored g reat wins at F lemington and Bendigo before that stable obviously thinks she’s back on song to have ready for this. Has blinkers for the first time, which will help kee p her mind on the job. Reckon 2. I’LL HAVE A BIT can figure here. Great effort when four th to Leather’n’lace at Caulfield a for tnight ago. Had to make sustained run from the 600m mark, was entitled to wilt in the straight but fought on bravely to be beaten in a photo for minor placings. Meets Leather’n’lace 3.5kg better at the weights and has a win over Booker to her credit in Adelaide.
4. LEATHER’N’LACE makes her own luck on speed and was never going to lose last star t after being allowed to dictate ter ms. Won’t get all the favours this time as she’ll have be used up to cross from a wide draw and also has another noted leader in Angelic Spirit to cope with. Still, winning for m is good for m. Watch for 17. HIYAAM to run a race here. Won easily in weaker g rade last star t but looks to have talent.
Simply impossible to go past
1. ALMANDIN. Just look at his figures alone. Two tries this trip for two wins, including race last year. Four tries at F lemington for three wins. Nine star ts on good tracks for five wins and two seconds. Pretty impressive stuff. Add to that the fact he was just superb in destroying a similar field here three weeks ago. Still well weighted under these quality handicap conditions. Just too good for them. Been waiting for
4. AMELIE’S STAR to get up to this trip. Desperately unlucky behind Hardham here before an outstanding effort when fourth to Harlem at Caulfield. The race developed into a sprint home and the backmarkers were never going to win, yet she unleashed the fastest last 600m, 400m and 200m of the race. Only one to break 12s for 200m. Big threat here. 2. TALLY is much better suited now he’s back at F lemington, where had four placings from five star ts. Last time he was at this course and distance he third in the Lexus last spring. Hard not to be impressed with the win of 3. HARLEM at Caulfield a for tnight ago and he’ll be in the finish ag ain. 8. VENGEUR MASQUE also has claims.
3. KENEDNA is way over the odds in early markets. Had excuses first-up when resuming and down the course behind Savanna Amour at Caulfield two weeks ago when found to be a little lame after the race. Unbeaten in two second-up appearances and the last two times she’s been at this trip resulted in a win beating Extra Olives and Harlow Gold and a bar nstor ming third to G1 winner I Am A Star in the G2 Kewney Stakes in March. Drawn to advantage here and, as a G1 place getter, well suited at this weight scale. Wor th following each-way. 7. EURO ANGEL can do better than her last star t sixth to Washington Heights at Rosehill. Never really got into the race in what was an off day for her. Previous Sydney for m strong and she won her only star t at this course and distance. Expect improvement. 9. MISS
ROCK is ready for the 1400m now. Made up steady to g round to be within striking distance on the tur n and did well be beaten in a blanket finish behind Savanna Amour two weeks ago. Drawn well and will go close.
6. OREGON’S DAY is better than her last run suggests and will be running on. 1. PROMPT
RESPONSE (fitter and will be on pace) and 13. SCHISM (goes well here) are other chances.
Like 8. NEW TIPPERARY here. Resumed last start at Randwick and loved the way he attacked the line late when beaten less than three lengths behind Comin’ Through and Tom Melbour ne. The second horse than placed in the G1 Epsom last week. Has won two of three second-up appearances and will relish the 1400m at this big track. Should go close. Reckon
11. MONGOLIAN WOLF can run a big race. Unbeaten in two first-up appearances. Class g alloper on his day and there seems enough speed on here to allow him to run strongly at the business end. 13. PURE PRIDE should be right at her top now. Drawn to get the soft run in midfield and just needs a little luck to test these. 12. WYNDSPELLE was very good in running a close second to Sircconi two weeks ago and also right at his top now.