The likelihood of a heavy track means that the best of the ground will probably be used in the first few races and coincidentally my strongest fancies for the day are in race one and two. SHEPHARD represents the Moody/Nolen combination of Black Caviar fame and I expect him to back up his recent Ballarat win. That was Moody’s first win as a trainer after a four-year absence. Moody quit the training ranks shortly after receiving a six month ban for cobalt offences in 2016. He seemed to have Shephard in tremendous heart on his stable debut though, and the trip and ground here will be fine. Starcaster is the one who can give him most to do.
This two-year-old looks to be a star. KHOEKHOE two wins over 1200 metres have been simply breathtaking and he is potentially the best horse Matt Cumani has ever had. Cumani is a son of former Epsom Derby winning trainer Luca and has a nice bunch of horses at his disposal. The step up to 1400 metres is perfect for this horse and I will be very surprised if he does not win.
I like the profile of BLUE OCEAN in race 5. He is currently at big odds and is worth taking a chance on. He blew the start two runs ago, but he was an emphatic winner at Werribee over 1600 most recently. He will improve a lot from that and the step up to 2000 metres is ideal. This is quite a hot race with Game Keeper and Tooradin likely to head the market, but conditions might allow for an upset and Blue Ocean might be best placed to deliver this.
Race 8 sees the collision of two bang in-form horses. So Si Bon and SHOT OF IRISH are attempting to bring up hattrick bids here and preference is for the latter. So Si Bon has been called many names prior to his most recent wins and has not always looked genuine. I still have a nagging doubt that he is not over reliable when things don’t fall his way. Shot Of Irish is the opposite of this and is a thoroughly reliable galloper, especially in these conditions. He’ll sit prominently under Tahlia Hope and I’d expect her to send this gelding for home early in the straight. Catch them if you can.
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* All odds correct at time of posting and are subject to change.