Viridine a class above
Happy to be with 5. CHICAGO BULL. Most impressive in winning a gallop at the Breakfast With The Stars session at Moonee Valley before Cox Plate day and was scheduled to run that day but was scratched and saved for this. Looks a powerful type and bred to handle the wet track. Big threat. 1. WEDGETAIL probably should have finished closer at the Valley last start as he was forced very wide on the turn by a wayward runner. Still was able to box on well and has the experience on his side. 2. FANAAR will derive a lot of benefit from his debut when beaten narrowly by Sebrakate at Morphettville in a small field. Raced a bit fiercely before the turn and then only just nabbed near the line. Better for that. 8. KNOWLES is a well-bred type and could figure in the finish.
11. WILD SEA was super impressive in dead-heating with Global Sanction at Pakenham when resuming. She was a mile out of her ground in the early stages, switched to the outside on straightening and then unleashed over the final 200m. Didn’t look a winning chance at the 200m but her final sprint was superb. Know the stable has a big opinion of her as she was taken to Sydney to run the G1 ATC Oaks at only her third start. Even better for the outing now and this big track will help. Plus she won on a soft surface last time out. Big hope. 12. BLACK AND TAN will welcome getting out to this distance after two runs back and caught the eye late behind Akkadian on soft ground at Pakenham last start. She did turn in an amazing effort to finish second to Truly Discreet at Sandown one day and was only a length of Peaceful State in Listed grade at Morphettville. She’ll run well. 3. PURE SCOT hasn’t been far away against better company on a few occasions and resumed with a soft win at Ballarat two weeks ago. Even fitter now and extra distance right up her alley. 6. PALMATEER has been consistent in Sydney and not disgraced behind the smart Sky Boy last start.
6. MAHAMADEIS was scratched from Cup day and reserved for this. Strong effort to win at the Valley and then fought on behind dead-heaters Mask Of Time and Best Of Days at Caulfield. That form has been franked with Best Of Days winning a G1 last Saturday. As a 3yo, he ran on in soft ground when third to Lucky For All and Furrion at Caulfield and again made ground on a heavy surface in the G1 Qld Derby. He has always been a horse of promise and seems to have found a race to suit. 7. SAVACOOL comes down from Sydney and has been very consistent. Bolted in on a soft track at Randwick and then ran on late when second to the handy Sky Boy at Randwick. Handles the wet and drawn to advantage. 4. ASTORIA is ready to hit his straps after an improved showing behind Smart As You Think in the wet at Randwick. Extra distance suits and he’ll run well. Watch for 12. TAN TAT TRUSTING to run a big race. He has excellent wet-track form.
Despite the big weight, I’ll stick with 1. POWERLINE. Drawn to get a nice run which could negate the big weight. Ran on well late when fourth to the promising Coruscate at Randwick last start. Extra 200m to his advantage and will go close. Ran third in this race last year. 2. STRATOCASTER hails from New Zealand when he won well at Pukekura last start, Freshened up since and can handle the sting out of the ground. 6. ANDAZ is also down from Sydney and placed last two at Warwick Farm. This is a tougher grade but going well enough to threaten. 3, HARBOUR GREY resumed with a stylish win at Geelong and was second in this race last year.
4. TRULY DISCREET was impressive returning to her best at Geelong last start, travelling well to the turn and then proving too solid in the run to the line. Right at her peak now and has won twice in soft ground. 1. SUPERHARD has paid the price for his good form with a big weight here and not drawn the best but he’s looks very good winning at Moe and Bendigo and just needs an ounce of luck. 7. AKKADIAN chased home Superhard last start and is holding his form well, while 3. PENNY TO SELL tried hard behind Truly Discreet at Geelong and rates among the chances again.
2. VIRIDINE is a quality sprinter and did get home nicely over the final stages when fourth to Nature Strip at the Valley in September. Given a let-up since and was under a strong hold when close up in a jumpout here on Oct 26 behind I Am Excited, running alongside the likes of Santa Ana Lane and Redkirk Warrior. Was third to In Her Time in soft ground in the G1 The Galaxy in March. Goes well fresh and hard to stop here. 1. FAATINAH normally goes well down the straight and likely to come down the grandstand side from this wide draw, which could be the best going. Freshened since a fighting effort behind Ball Of Muscle at Caulfield and will run well. 7. FELL SWOOP is a G1 performer and can go well fresh here. Effortless trial at Moruya to ready him for this. Must be included and likes it wet. 8. ILLUSTRIOUS LAD is a good straight horse and has trialled well for his return. Big chance.
14. WAKA is by the same sire as Derby winner Extra Brut and looked good winning his maiden at Sale last start. Didn’t have things go his way before the turn but then ran on strongly when clear to win running away. This is harder but shows a lot of promise and extra distance looks to be in his favour. 6. JUNIPAL struck a wet track at Donald two runs back and bolted in by 10 lengths. Battled on well behind Syd’s Coin at Caulfield at his last run and this class and distance looks ideal. 2. TAVIRUN will appreciate a drop in grade here and can improve. Remember he did beat Aristia home at the Valley three runs back. 3. REAL SUCCESS was outclassed behind Stars Of Carrum at the Valley but was good behind Syd’s Coin before that.
Match in three for mine. I’m not prepared to sack 4. VERRY ELLEEGANT. I wasn’t too disappointed with her Wakeful Stakes effort as it was almost impossible to make ground in a muddling run affair, where they were almost 3s outside the track record. Didn’t really sprint until the 800m mark and Verry Elleegant did reel off the best closing 600-400m and 400-200m splits of the race. I have no doubts she will run the trip and she had won three form four on soft ground. Stick with her. 1. AMPHITRITE had no luck in the Empire Rose Stakes on Saturday against the older mares when blocked for a run all the way down the straight. Back against her own age and drawn to advantage. Some query at the trip but she’s all class. 2. ARISTIA sat in a great spot and proved too strong in the Wakeful. She is very honest and will run the trip right out. 6. SIZZLEME is honest and will sit on speed. Has some claims.
3. HUMMA HUMMA deserves a break through. Beaten a lip by Sunlight at Caulfield in August and then twice placed in stakes grade at the Valley before again chasing home the mighty Sunlight at Caulfield. Yet to run down the straight and unknown in the wet but she’s drawn to get to the outside fence and that could help her. Also expect a better effort from 5. MULTAJA. Freshened since failing at Caulfield but did well in a recent jump out. Should be storming home, Likewise 6. ASSERTIVE PLAY. Without luck recently and was not far away as favourite behind Beauty at the Valley. Will come down the outside and has claims. 1. MERYL is very consistent and sure to be in the finish again.