Payroll ready to salute
4. ENCRYPTION debuted with a solid effort behind Qalifa at Caulfield three weeks ago. Sat just off the pace from the rails draw and was blocked for a run a couple of times in straight on before hitting the line hard in the second best last 200m of
race. Bound to be a whole lot fitter. Son of Group 1 Thousand Guineas winner Guelph. 1. BIONICS skipped away on entering the straight before being nabbed on line by Setsuna, who franked that form with another impressive win on Cup Day. Looks a nice type who will be on pace and hard to run down again. 2. GRAND CHALLENGE (benefit of a recent trial), 6. KING (strong Sydney trial win) and 10. BELZELLA (impressive in the jumpouts) look to be contenders as well.
Surely this is the right race for 3. TARQUIN. Liked the way he hit the line in Moe Cup last start, sustaining a long run from
600m mark to finish a gallant third. Had second best last 200m split of the race. Has only missed a place once in five tries at this trip. Granted he’s up in weight but down grade and has Bowman on board. Liked the way 11. MEET AND GREET held his ground behind Violate at Caulfield two runs back and then outclassed in a hot Bendigo Cup last time. Nicely suited on the limit and will make his own luck on the pace. 5. HAVE PLENTY has been very consistent in Adelaide and only just beaten last time when producing best 200m split of the race. Has a win over Balf’s Choice, who was contender here on Cup Day. Will be prominent. 1. KOURKAM was third in that same Adelaide race last start and has performed here in the past.
He may be a 10-years-old but 4. JACQUINOT BAY can win this. Recent efforts in strong grade have been first rate, including a close third to Cool Chap at Caulfield and then beaten only 3.4 lens behind Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 Toorak at Caulfield last month. Given a month off since then, drops sharply in grade, is a winner over this course and distance and, in a race devoid of lot of speed, should be able to take up the running and prove very hard to run down. Great chance. 1. FASTNET TEMPEST should have gone close to winning the Sale Cup last time but he wanted to lay in badly in the straight when second to Moss ‘N’ Dale. Also shoots up weights but down in grade and reckon this big Flemington track is tailor-made for him. 3. RAW IMPULSE had the run of the race when third in Sale Cup. He battled on strongly in a return to something like his best form. Has drawn to get the soft run again. Could surprise. 5. MASTER RESET was three-wide throughout when failing at Moonee Valley last start. Previous run here behind Pure Pride was good.
Like the chances of 2. LORD ASPEN. Loved the way he attacked line when getting up in the last stride to win at Morphettville two weeks ago. Tracked wide throughout, was the widest runner on the turn and still proved too strong, all with 60kg on his back. Had best sectionals of any horse in the race and the only one to break 12s for the last 200m. Twice run over this course and distance, the latest beating Rough Justice in winning this race last year. Drawn to get a soft run this time and will give it big shake. 6. DUKE OF BRUNSWICK finds the easiest assignment he’s had for a while. Just got too far back and couldn’t make ground at Caulfield last start but his previous form very consistent, including a fourth to Sicconi at Caulfield. He has been placed over this course and distance and given a month off since his last run. Can win. Expect a better performance from 5. MOHER. Hasn’t really shown up in two runs from a spell but his pattern has been to find form later in this campaign. Reckon this track will suit him and should get a nice a run in midfield. 11. MUBAKKIR fought on pretty well to be beaten only 2.7 lens behind Fast ‘n Rocking at Caulfield last start. Last time he was over this track and trip finished a brave second to Hellova Street. Capable of running well again.
6. GALLIC CHIEFTAIN gets his chance here. Tracked the leaders into the straight, got run along fence and charged late to just miss grabbing Vengeur Masque in the Geelong Cup. Meets that horse 1.5kg better this time, is rock hard fit and will be steaming home again. 1. QEWY is the obvious danger. Overseas stayer who fought on like a caged lion to beat Kiwia in driving finish in the Bendigo Cup at his first run back in Australia. Very tough stayer who will make own luck on pace and, despite his big weight, will be hart to beat. Liked the run of 8. VIOLATE in the Geelong Cup. He had track very wide on the turn and still kept coming to finish a close a third. Think he’s a bit underrated and sure be prominent again.
10. WHEAL LEISURE clocked the fastest last 200m of the race when a closing fifth in Geelong Cup. She beat Hardham before that and Lord Fandango three starts back. That horse then ran a great race in the Caulfield Cup. Rates among main threats again. 3. KIWIA (good in the Bendigo Cup) and 4. VENGEUR MASQUE (brave in the Lexus last Saturday) are genuine chances again.
Fairly keen on 5. PAYROLL. Lot to like about the way she steamed home from last before the bend to finished third to Now Or Later over 1400m here last month. Finished in front of Eckstein and Missrock and they were narrowly beaten at Flemington last Saturday Given a freshen up since but did win recent Cranbourne trial hard held by a big space. Will handle the trip as she was only beaten a length by Stratum Star over 2200m at the Gold Coast in January. Big threat here. 1. HEAVENS ABOVE is already a Group 1 winner and caught the eye running on late behind Shoals in the Myer Classic last Saturday. She’ll settle back be given one last crack at them in the straight. Sure to go close. 6. FALIKA is going very well and simply too good for her rivals at Moonee Valley last start. This slightly harder but drawn to get a soft run and will make presence felt. 7. TAHANEE was impressive winning here on Cup Day. If she backs up, she can figure again.
I can’t tip against 2. REDZEL. Proved just how good he is with a convincing win in the Everest last start, beating a lot of his rivals here on their merits. Has followed a similar pattern leading into this with a month off and that’s how he best races. He’s acted down the straight before, beating Terravista and Hellbent over 1000m here on Oaks day last year when came from the outside of the field of 10. Will position himself on speed again and take a lot of running down. 1. CHAUTAUQUA is at his top now has great record down the straight here. Given a freshen up since chasing home Redzel in Everest. Was scratched at the barrier in the Moir Stakes Valley a fortnight ago, which could be
blessing in disguise. Will storming home. 7. REDKIRK WARRIOR reserves his best for the straight course. Winner of
Newmarket here and superb winning the Bobbie Lewis here in September. Will go close. 3. VEGA MAGIC wasn’t quite himself behind Hey Doc in the Manikato Stakes but his previous run
Redzel was great. This big track will help him.
I’m sticking with 4. TOSEN STARDOM. Had the big weight and got too far back on a track where it suited on-pacers when eighth in the Kennedy Mile last Saturday. His sectionals in the race were still ok and certainly comparable with his rivals. Looks better suited at weight-forage here and has won over this trip in Japan. Can’t forget his brilliant win in the Toorak two runs back. He’ll go well. Obviously 7. FOLKSWOOD was great in record-breaking Cox Plate last start behind Winx. It a massive step up for him and he handled himself really well., Reckon he’s even better placed at this big track and is the one they have to beat. 10. GINGERNUTS is in great form in Group 1 grade
New Zealand and showed his class in Sydney the autumn. Reckon this is best distance and chances further enhanced in there is any rain around. Don’t write off 13. THE TAJ MAHAL. He was super running second over this trip in Group 1 grade in the US before a fighting fifth
Irish Champion Stakes. Just don’t think he handled Caulfield last time and this big track will see him improve.
Going to give 3. TREKKING one more chance. Had a tough run last start when third to Eptimum at the Valley. He was caught wide early, had make sustained run to join the leader at the 600m mark and fought on okay in straight. Like step up to 1400m at vthis big track. Just need a cosier run in transit
make his presence felt. 4. ANDAZ produced nice closing sectionals behind Merchant Navy in the Coolmore Stud Stakes last Saturday and is another who looks like the 1400m will suit. Took a smart one in Goodfella to beat him before that. 1. SiRCCONI is Sires Produce winner over this course and distance who will lead and take running down. 9. ICON OF DUBAI (freshened up)
12. SURJIN (best closing 200m last start) have claims.