Shepparton News




With September just around the corner, this is the time of year that everyone at Payney’s Punt lives for, spring racing.

Although this column is few and far between now, we return with a preview of the first Group One race of the Victorian season.

The Memsie Stakes (1400m) is the feature race on tomorrow’s ninerace card at Caulfield.

The rail will be in its true position and the track should be upgraded to a Good 4 by race one.

With thousands of people in the Goulburn Valley confined to their loungeroom­s due to isolation requiremen­ts, us included, tomorrow looks a nice day to switch the TV on to the ponies.

And if you are dipping into the pockets this weekend, set a limit, don’t reach too deep and please remember to gamble responsibl­y.

Race 1. 12.20pm — Hcp (2400m) A small field of seven runners greets us in the opener. Speed should be moderate with Nerve Not Verve (5) pushing forward from Tooradin (3) on the rail. We are leaning toward Tooradin to salute here. The favourite is having his first crack at this trip, but has been in sensationa­l form this preparatio­n and is racing well. Drops 5kg for this run and looks primed to be the first home.

Mahamedeis (1) beat home Bedford (2) at The Valley and has form at this trip. Heir To The Throne (4) won last start over 2400m and can feature here.

Top tip: Tooradin

Race 2. 12.55pm — BM78 (1100m)

The second race is a much wider affair, with plenty of value floating around if you can land it. And that is exactly what we will try to do.

Zorro’s Dream (7) is coming off a win last start and we think the Mitch Freedman-trained gelding can back it up at nice odds. Will sit off the speed from barrier four and stalk the leaders. Finished strongly at his last start on a soft track. Is racing in good form and is 7:2-4-0 at this trip.

Deep Speed (8) looks a good one and if the track dries up we might end up landing with this four-yearold gelding. Is third-up and is unbeaten at this track-distance. Has a 5:3-1-1 record on good ground. Our Wind Spirit (10) and Dirty Thoughts (13) are two that can get the job done.

Top tip: Zorro’s Dream (EW)

Race 3. 1.30 — BM90 (1400m) Can’t see either of the top two not winning this race. Turaath (7) is going for a hat-trick. Her two wins came on soft ground and over this distance. Beat home some impressive types last start. Annavisto (2) is a serious type. Resumes here and is undefeated when first-up. Can get the job done on soft or good ground. The only knock is the wide barrier, but expect Ben Melham to get the mare across at the start.

Top tip: Annavisto (W) or quinella (2,7)

Race 4. 2.10pm — McNeil Stakes (1200m)

Some exciting three-year-old runners in the McNeil Stakes. Expect

General Beau (2) to find the early lead from the inside rail. Ran a good second last start when fresh behind Ingratiati­ng. Has form at this track and when second-up. Artorius (1) resumes and will be the one to beat. This year’s Blue Diamond winner is classy and expect a big run. A tossup between those two runners.

Heresy (9) placed when fresh last start at G3 level. Mr Mozart (5) could sneak a place.

Top tip: Artorious

Race 5. 2.50pm — The Heath (1100m)

We see plenty of gun runners start their preparatio­n in The Heath.

Masked Crusader (1) is the oddson favourite for a reason. Went absolute bonkers last season with multiple Group One victories. Has won twice when fresh, but yet to be first home at 1100m. We are going to have a nibble on Crosshaven (3) at $12. The Lindsay Park runner resumes and has got the job done when fresh. First attempt at this distance, but is a multiple winner at 1200m and I like the strategy from the Hayes boys to unleash the gelding in a sprint race first-up.

Top tip: Masked Crusader

Race 6. 3.30pm — Cockram Stakes (1200m)

Much like most of the other races, it looks a battle between two star talents here. Probabeel (1) and

Instant Celebrity (2) return to the races today. Probabeel is 5:2-2-0 when resuming and has a 6:3-1-0 record over this trip. Is undefeated at Caulfield. Has drawn barrier 10, but that shouldn’t be an issue, with her two previous wins here coming from nine and 11. One of those wins came while carrying 60kg. Instant Celebrity will want the whips cracking and a fast race from the back. Became a G1 winner last season by winning the TAB Classic over this trip. Expect the mare to fly home. For value hunters, Rich Hips (4) is a jet when fresh and should run strongly.

Top tip: Probabeel

Race 7. 4.10pm — Heatherlie Hcp (1700m)

One of the trickiest races on the card. There won’t be a hell of a lot of early pace with Ziegfeld (7) the only one expected to push forward. Damian Oliver could let the Godolphin runner run loose from the front.

Angel Of Truth (2) worked home late in the PB Lawrence to run second at long odds. If the Hawkestrai­ned gelding replicates that run then he should go close. Tralee Rose (9) is undefeated at this distance and won fresh last prep. Should be in the placegette­rs. We are taking a ping at the stumps with

Mosh Music (8). Has had success at this trip and performs best when second-up, with two wins and a placing.

Top tip: Mosh Music (EW)

Race 8. 4.45pm — Memsie Stakes (1400m)

Expect Red Can Man (5) to push forward alongside Streets Of Avalon (3) and Sansom (6). Streets was lame last run in the PB Lawrence and expect a better performanc­e here. They are up against some serious types. Behemoth (2) won this race last year. Kicked off campaign with a win last start ahead of

Beau Rossa (8). The latter has drawn the inside gate. Tofane (10) returns to the races after back-toback G1 wins at Eagle Farm earlier this year. Both of those wins came at 1400m and expect a big run. Leaning towards Inspiratio­nal Girl (11) to take the chocolates here. First-up form is impressive 3:2-1-0 but it’s the mare’s form at the distance that has us licking our chops. Is a fivetime winner and multiple placegette­r from seven attempts at 1400m. Will jump beside Tofane and hoping Damian Lane can work his magic.

Top tip: Inspiratio­nal Girl

Race 9. 17.20 — Hcp (1400m) Like most punters, we will be going one out in the last leg of the quaddie with Ayrton (11). This impressive gelding is yet to miss a place in five starts. Has won twice at Caulfield and won both times when resuming. Jamie Kah will have the gelding ducking and weaving from barrier 12. Look for Groundswel­l (1) to run a strong race with four of his six wins coming at 1400m. We reckon

Regardsmar­ee (10) could shock punters. Will be storming home late and is a track and distance specialist.

Top tip: Ayrton

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 ?? Picture: AAP ?? On the hunt: Behemoth will be out to try and clinch back-to-back Memsie Stakes victories.
Picture: AAP On the hunt: Behemoth will be out to try and clinch back-to-back Memsie Stakes victories.

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