Race 1 - 12:35pm
The market has zeroed in on Hear The Chant and Quilista and they do look like the two to beat. Hear The Chant was strong first-up at Flemington and looks to have come back in excellent form, while Quilista drops back in class following a tough run in the Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate. Both horses do look to have found their right price and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Race 2 - 1:10pm
Scarecrow has recorded three wins from his four race starts and he is clearly the horse to beat. He hit the line strongly to win at Flemington last start and this race really isn’t much tougher. Barrier four is ideal and he maps to get a lovely run just behind the leaders with Beau Mertens in the saddle.
The obvious danger is Iconoclasm. The Toorak Toff colt is on the quick back-up following a classy win at Morphettville on Adelaide Cup Day and he is a horse with a massive amount of upside. There is no jockey in the country that is riding in better form than Mark Zahra and if he backs-up he should be in the finish.
2.5 Units Scarecrow
1.5 Units Iconoclasm
Race 3 - 1:50pm
There are a number of talented fillies in what is an interesting betting race. Demerara is yet to prove herself over 1100 metres and I am happy to take her on at the current price of $2.90.
It has been a long time between races for Time Awaits, but she has trialed nicely ahead of her return to the races and her best form would have her right in this contest. She is a horse that will be strong over 1100 metres and it would not surprise to see her finish over the top of her rivals late.
1 Unit Time Awaits
Race 4 - 2:30pm
Khulaasa contest herself victory when she finished second behind Prairie Fire and she clearly is a filly that has plenty of ability. The fact that she has previously had two starts down the famous Flemington straight does give her an advantage over her rivals and this is her opportunity to record a maiden race win.
3.5 Units Khulaasa
Race 5 - 3:10pm
The Blamey Stakes does look like a race in two between Tosen Stardom and Humidor. Tosen Stardom does have a fitness edge over his stablemate and he ran well in the Futurity Stakes last start, but Humidor ran the best closing sectionals and he may have more upside. His victory over this track and distance in the Spring in the Makybe Diva Stakes was enormous and on his best form I think that he does have an edge over Tosen Stardom.
3.5 Units Humidor
Race 6 - 3:50pm
He Ekscels has recorded two wins on the trot this preparation and he is the only horse in this field that really looks to have any upside. This is a step-up in class, but he showed that he was up to this level as a younger horse and the majority of this field look to have found their level. He makes his own luck right on the speed and there is no reason that he can’t continue his winning ways.
1.5 Units He Ekscels
Race 7 - 4:30pm
You can make a case for a number of horses in what is a very open edition of the March Stakes. Theanswermyfriend has joined the stable of Henry Dwyer and he is a horse that is capable of producing brutal mid-race sectionals. He is not a consistent galloper, but his best form does give him an edge over the rest of this field and he has generally produced at his top at Flemington.
Mask Of Time is the x-factor in this field. He made his Australian racing debut with a more than credible effort in the Toorak Handicap during the Spring and he should now have acclimatized in the Australian environment. The imported galloper did show tactical speed in the Toorak Handicap and he could go to another level this preparation.
1.5 Units Theanswermyfriend
½ Unit Mask Of Time
Race 8 - 5:10pm
Naval Warfare will make his Australian racing debut at Flemington on Saturday and if he does bring his best form from the United Kingdom to the races he will prove tough to beat. He did struggle for consistency in England, but he was capable of a high-rating performance on his day and he is worth a gamble in what is far from the strongest race.
1 Unit Naval Warfare
Race 9 - 5:45pm
Blue Tycoon has recorded three wins on the trot in Adelaide in impressive fashion and he is great value to continue his winning streak in Melbourne. He has drawn towards the outside of the field, but he does have plenty of early speed and young hoop Fred Kersley is an excellent judge of pace. This is an open race and Blue Tycoon appeals at his current price.
1.5 Units Blue Tycoon