- Group racing is back at headquarters with the Aurie’s Star
- Trev thinks there are a few that have genuine claims
Let’s break down the runners. There’s a few that have genuine claims for mine, and plenty I’m not that keen on.
In terms of the contenders, SESAR (4) was obviously disappointing after going in as hot favourite at Caulfield. He over-raced and never ran on. Having said that, he did run well first-up on a heavy track. He’s had one run down the straight but was well beaten. Take on trust.
MALIBU STYLE (2) won well at this track and distance two starts ago, and then was slowly away last start. But Lane goes on in scintillating form, enough to make Malibu Style a solid chance here for mine.
MILWAUKEE (7) is an interesting one. He’s up in class here but has a terrific record down the straight and is drawn to go to the best part of the track. He doesn’t have the class of others here, but he does tick a lot of boxes and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him salute. HOLY BLADE (10) also runs well down the straight and is a very consistent type. He’s drawn barrier 1 and has claims.
Speaking of interesting, ANTAH (12) resumed off an 888 day break last prep with a terrific win, and then won three of his next five. He’s got winning ways and I reckon is a good chance here.
YOU MAKE ME SMILE (13) is a Sydney galloper who comes down here for the first time. His best runs look to be when he’s able to dictate in front, he which should get here. The straight track should help.
Finally, this is ICONOCLASM’s (3) first run down the straight, but he has a good record fresh and will run well… I think he’ll be right there.
Of the rest, OOHOOD (6) won the Flight Stakes as a three-year-old filly then was well down in two runs in the autumn. I prefer her over more ground. Likewise MATERIAL MAN (1), who’d I’d prefer to watch go around. He resumes for the new trainer here and has the bar plates on.
Resuming here, SO SI BON (5) is another who’s better over further, but the biggest issue is the obvious… he just doesn’t win!
REYKJAVIK (8) had a terrific win two starts back over the mile. He got too far back last start, and has now been given two weeks off and is dropping back 400m. He’ll be getting home but happy to risk.
SEABURGE (9) hasn’t won a race since March 2016. Pass. TRUE EXCELSIOR (14) was only fair first-up and is nearly 18 months since a win. Again, pass. TRIBAL WISDOM (11) resumes off a short break and it’s well over twelve months since he produced any significant figures. Think he’ll need the run. And MR MONEY BAGS (15) only just went around first-up. I’m not sure he can improve enough here second-up to cause any trouble.
All in all, it’s a wide-open race with a lot of question marks – probably the biggest of which is over Sesar after his last performance. On figures I’ve got him, Iconoclasm and Milwaukee all equal favourites. Sesar doesn’t present much value, but the other two are reasonably priced. Of the rest, Holy Blade is probably the best-priced roughie. If I had to have a bet, Milwaukee each-way would be the way I’d go as I’m most confident he’ll run his figure. Betting-wise there’s probably other races on the card that are more attractive, so that’s where I’ll probably focus on what should be a good day’s racing.