Race 1 - 11:45am
Twelve two-year-olds will step out in the first at Ladbrokes Park on Saturday and of those horses, six are on debut.
The Anthony Freedman-trained King Of Hastings was an impressive winner on debut and has opened the race favourite, but with the overall lack of exposed form, I’m happy to stay out.
Race 2 - 12:20pm
Silent Roar will carry winning form into the second and looks the one to beat again. The Team Hawkes-trained mare has continued to improve with racing this time, but her last-start effort and win suggested that she has found peak condition and with even luck, she’ll be right in the finish.
The Kasey Keys-trained Gold Label Miss faces a rise in class, but she was excellent at Ballarat last time out and there’s no doubt that she harbours good improvement ahead of this. The daughter of Von Costa De Hero races well on soft going and I think that she can run a cheeky race at any old price ($21 at publish).
2 Units Silent Roar
0.5 Units E/W Gold Label Miss
Race 3 - 12:55pm
William Thomas has returned to racing in typically strong form this time and can return to winning form in the third at Ladbrokes Park. The Nicconi gelding recorded a tough win at Caulfield two back and savaged the line, recording the fastest closing splits in a tougher race over 1100m last time out. He’s ready to peak fourth-up and the small increase in trip will suit.
3 Units William Thomas
Race 4 - 1:30pm
The early scratching of Marcel From Madrid has rendered the fourth race wide-open from a betting perspective and there is a case to be made for more than half the field.
Smart Elissim clearly needed the run when he tailed off at Flemington first-up, but he is a horse that typically enjoys sharp improvement with a run under his belt and he is up to winning a race of this quality. The three-year-old son of Smart Missile displayed above-average ability during his debut campaign; placing in Group 3 company and ending his preparation fifth in the Magic Millions Guineas most notably. He looks over the odds at a double-figure quote.
1 Unit E/W Smart Elissim
Race 5 - 2:05pm
Pacodali was an impressive winner over 2000m at Caulfield last time out and looks beautifully placed to make it two in a row on Saturday. The six-year-old son of Pace Boy is another horse that has improved with each effort this time, and he beat several of Saturday’s rivals with relative ease last time out. He’s rock-hard fit and the small increase in trip will suit.
3 Units Pacodali
Race 6 - 2:45pm
Crockett has been a horse that appears to have been crying out for a trip and he’ll get it at Ladbrokes Park on Saturday. The Tony McEvoy-trained gelding travelled nicely at Swan Hill last week but lacked the turn of foot required to run down a smart one, but he’s nearing peak fitness and looks capable of doing something in what is a wide-open field. He has options from the rails draw and with even luck, he can fight out the finish at a nice price. If he doesn’t perform here, he’ll be going in the never again pile.
0.5 Units E/W Crockett
Race 7 - 3:25pm
This is a wide-open and capacity field and at publish, we’re looking at $5 the field.
The Henry Dwyer-trained Heir To The Throne has drawn a potentially awkward marble in 14, but he returned to winning form in style at Sale last time out and a repeat of that effort would see him fighting out the finish again. The four-year-old has returned several pleasing performances this time in and with even luck, he can continue his rise through the grades.
1 Unit E/W Heir To The Throne
Race 8 - 4:05pm
The field for the eighth is another dartboard and there’s a case to be made for several horses in the market. I can’t find an angle that I am particularly keen on and am happy to watch.
Race 9 - 4:36pm
Fabric will carry winning form into the last at Ladbrokes Park and looks tough to beat again. The Danny O’Brien-trained filly has been in strong and consistent form this time and recorded the best win of her career at Flemington last time out. She’s rock-hard fit and will be piloted by Craig Williams from barrier 4.
2 Units Fabric