Runners to watch: Flemington, March 4th

Race 1: Mrs Mac’s Family Bakery Sprint (1100m)

Sword Of Light (3rd): did all the work on her own in the centre of the track. Picked up a good couple of lengths to fail narrowly in a first-up effort that was better than it looked.

Note – Missrock tracked the speed on the inside fence and had the drop on Invincible Heart, who ran a much improved race, to win by a small margin and survived a protest from the runner-up. Sword Of Light ran a super race as mentioned and Catch A Fire hit the line late to be close up.

Race 2: Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m)

Note – Painless watch for supporters of Heatherly who led and controlled the tempo before kicking away for a very easy win.Lady Esprit followed her through into a solid second, but no match, and Snappy Esprit held on for third after trying to go with the winner.

Race 3: 3AW Is Football Stakes (1000m)

Note – The lesser fancied Ploverset finished over the top of the odds-on favourite, and stablemate, Madeenaty to post a strong debut win. No excuses on face value for the runner-up who had a fairly soft lead, though the jockey reported she was a bit hot in the mounting yard. Sam’s Image wanted to over race a bit in the early stages and stuck on well to hold third.

Race 4: Mitty’s Handicap (1600m)

Note – Show A Star was able to control proceedings in front on the fence and gave a good kick, holding off the favouritePortman to win. The runner-up possibly got a pair further back than he needed to be but no real excuse. Divine Mr Artie followed the winner through but couldn’t sprint with them and had his chance.

Race 5: Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m)

Rising Romance (2nd): hasn’t won for a long time but showed she could be close to a win in the right company with a slashing second after giving them a big start. Chased hard and might be back on track.

Happy Hannah (6th): left flat footed when the sprint went on but she did wind up nicely in the last 100m or so. She’s not known for being in the finish first-up so she will improve on this.

Note – Turbo Miss overcame plenty of trouble to score a game win. She wasn’t the best out then was held up until the 250m but sprinted quickly and held off Rising Romance with Jalan Jalan claiming third just ahead of Diamond Baroness who had every chance.

Race 6: TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m)

Hooked (2nd): might be back in business with a game second at his first run for Robert Smerdon. Sat just off the pace and looked to be cruising as he hit the front 200m out. Just nailed in the last stride.

Note – He Or She made hard work of it but posted a deserved win first-up from a spring where he chased the best horses in the land around. Hooked was sound in second while Zebrinz ran his usual honest race down the outside. Of the others Grande Rosso was posted three wide throughout and only battled.

Race 7: Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m)

Anaheim (5th): produced an outstanding Derby trial with an eye-catching effort from well back on the turn. Had a checkered passage until he burst through about 150m out and will only improve as distances increase.

Note – Hey Doc didn’t want to settle early but had a nice run and once he spotted a gap early in the straight he sprinted through and put the race away 300m out. Prized Icon ran a very nice race second-up, following the winner to the turn then just lacking the sprint. Snitzson worked through late into a place.

Race 8: Roy Higgins Quality (2600m)

Note – A long overdue win by Big Memory, who hadn’t won since October 2014, as he worried Cadillac Mountain out of the win. He raced on the pace and they had their chance to beat him. Roughie Settler’s Stone got up for third. Three-year-old Northwest Passage led them and couldn’t keep it up this time.

Race 9: Saintly Handicap (1400m)

Rockstar Rebel (4th): promising return from a lightly raced galloper, he was last and under pressure on the turn. Tried to come home on the back of the winner but was outsprinted by him before working home nicely late. Look for him beyond a mile.

Note – Mr Sneaky appreciated a bit of speed on up front, and a cart home, to run down Theanswermyfriend, who was softened right up in the middle stages, in the last stride. They broke away from Toffee Nose who got up on the inside into the minor money.