Race 1 - 12:00pm
Al Mah Haha was unlucky to miss a run in the Country Championships Final on Day 1 of The Championships when he kicked the barriers, but his form this time has been outstanding and he looks beautifully placed to atone in this Highway race. The four-year-old son of Al Maher won the Goulburn qualifier in excellent fashion and can settle behind the pace from barrier 7, before calling on his turn of foot.
2 Units Al Mah Haha
Race 2 - 12:35pm
The field for the second is wide-open from a betting perspective and at publish, we’re looking at $6 the field.
Test The World boasts a strong fresh record and could prove the value at her opening price. The Bjorn Baker-trained gelding has tuned-up for this race with a couple of nice trials and she’s missed a place only once in five first-up assignments; the one failed attempt being in Group company.
1 Unit Test The World
Race 3 - 1:10pm
Amangiri has stamped herself as a filly to follow and can record her first black type win in the Frank Packer Plate. The daughter of All Too Hard put the writing on the wall with a pair of dominant wins last month and she was desperately unlucky not to win the Group 3 Adrian Knox on Day 1 of The Championships. She’s rock-hard fit and can go forward from barrier 5. She’ll be extremely difficult to run down.
3 Units Amangiri
Race 4 - 1:45pm
Into The Abyss will take plenty of benefit into her third-up assignment on Saturday and the JHB Carr Stakes looks a nice bit of black type for her. The John Thompson-trained filly blew off the cobwebs when seventh in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes first-up, but fought on well to finish second behind a smart one in the Group 3 PJ Bell last time out.
Eawase didn’t show much first-up, but she’s a filly that typically enjoys good improvement into her second start. She’ll enjoy the small rise in trip and could receive the run of the race from barrier 4.
2 Units Into The Abyss
0.5 Units Eawase
Race 5 - 2:20pm
Grey Lion will take wholesale improvement into his second-up target on Saturday and looks over the odds in JRA Plate betting ($21 at publish). The Galileo gelding resumed from a lengthy spell in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude first-up and mustered an eye-catching turn of foot when he was finally offered clear running. I like that trainer Matt Smith has trialled the horse since his last start and there is no doubt that he’ll relish the rise in trip. He looks a genuine each-way chance is a wide-open edition this race.
1 Unit Grey Lion
Race 6 - 2:55pm
Castelvecchio has stamped himself as a potential star in the making and he can record the first Group 1 win of his career in the Champagne Stakes. The Dundeel colt stormed home from the tail of the field to win the lucrative Inglis Milennium in February and he has since returned two good performances for third in both the Group 2 Skyline Stakes and Group 1 Inglis Sires’ respectively. His get back and run on pattern and his breeding suggests that he’ll only improve at a mile, and he’ll be tough to hold out.
2 Units Castelvecchio
Race 7 - 3:35pm
Osborne Bulls has been knocking on the door of a Group 1 win all season and is primed for another big performance in the All Aged Stakes. The Exceed And Excel gelding ran an agonizingly-close second behind In Her Time in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning first-up and has since returned another two bold efforts to finish second in the Group 1 Newmarket and Group 1 TJ Smith. He’s rock-hard fit and the 1400m at this point of his prep should suit.
British raider D’Bai brings a unique formline into the race and looks the major danger. The Dubawi gelding arrives in Australia by way of Meydan and an impressive win in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort at this trip. Trainer Charlie Appleby has an outstanding record in Australia and this horse is a live chance of returning him another Group 1 win.
3 Units Osborne Bulls
1 Unit D’Bai
Race 8 - 4:15pm
Easy Eddie has been a strong and consistent performer this time and will relish a step back in class into the Hall Mark Stakes. The Super Easy gelding has been another revelation for sprint king Joe Pride and he followed up a smart win in the Group 3 Maurice McCarten Stakes with a huge run for third in the Group 1 The Galaxy. He’s been kept up to the mark with a trial and has a fitness edge over several key rivals. He looms as a live each-way chance again.
1.5 Units Easy Eddie
Race 9 - 4:55pm
A tough end to the day from a betting perspective, but keen to have a small play on the resuming Up ‘N’ Rolling at double figures. The six-year-old is resuming from a lengthy spell, but his fresh form is excellent and with even luck, he’s up to winning a race of this calibre.
1 Unit Up ‘N’ Rolling