Racing returns to Belmont in the nation’s west on Saturday and the Group 3 Belmont Sprint headlines the program.
The rail will be set out three metres around the entire course and at publish, we’re faced with a track rated in the Good (4) range.
Race 1 - 2:02pm AEST
Mrs Mac’s Plate (1200m)
Ain’t No Other Man will take winning form into the first on Belmont Sprint Day and can make it two in a row.
The Gingerbread Man gelding has been a model of consistency since resuming, winning twice and placing second in his four competitive appearances.
He has a fitness edge over many of his key rivals and I’m confident he can get out day off on the right foot.
4 Units Ain’t No Other Man
Race 2 - 2:42pm AEST
Free Entry to Belmont Park Handicap (1200m)
Willie Pike jumps into the saddle of Graceful Girl in Race 2 and she will take a power of beating.
The Grant & Alana Williams-trained filly is yet to miss placing in five career starts, winning twice, and she returned from a break to finish second at Ascot a fortnight ago.
With natural improvement and from the good draw, she is my best bet on the program.
6 Units Graceful Girl
Race 3 - 3:22pm AEST
Westspeed Platinum Handicap (1200m)
Queen Of Soul recorded a lovely win to break her maiden at Northam when resuming, and this represents a great opportunity for her to continue her rise through the grades.
The Danehill Express mare showed promise without setting the industry on fire during her first prep, but she has clearly returned to the races a more furnished horse this time, and never looked in doubt when fresh.
With improvement, she too can fight out the finish this week.
2 Units Queen Of Soul
Race 4 - 4:02pm AEST
Amelia Park Lodge Handicap (1000m)
How’s The Serenity has been a strong and consistent performer since resuming and strikes another winnable contest at Belmont on Saturday.
Having just got there over 1000m at Ascot when resuming, the Magnus filly has finished third in each of her three subsequent starts, finishing within half a length of the winner on each occasion.
She’s rock-hard fit and might not be offered a better opportunity to strike on a Saturday than this.
4 Units How’s The Serenity
Race 5 - 4:55pm AEST
Schweppes Handicap (2100m)
Sentimental Queen hasn’t tasted anything but success since resuming and shapes as the runner to beat again in the fifth at Belmont on Saturday.
Sentimental Queen has hinted at above-average ability since debuting, but she is really starting to realise her potential this time in, and she enters this race off impressive wins at Ascot.
Fitter third-up and under Pike, I can’t find a reason why she won’t be in the finish again.
4 Units Sentimental Queen
Race 6 - 5:20pm AEST
Crown Towers Handicap (1300m)
Billy Ray looks a key winning chance in the sixth on Belmont Sprint Day.
The Sebring gelding has recorded a win and two placings since resuming last month, and he overcome a torrid run to finish third behind Son Son last time out.
He meets that horse far better at the weights this week and Pike has options from the rails draw.
2 Units Billy Ray
Race 7 - 5:50pm AEST
Morley Growers Market Handicap (1400m)
She hasn’t been seen at the races since September last year, but she also doesn’t know how to run a bad race, and I’m happy to have something on Leading Girl fresh on Saturday.
The Reliable Man mare has missed placing only once during her eleven career starts so far, and she ended her last prep with consecutive wins over some talented gallopers here at Belmont.
She’s had the benefit of a couple of trials in the lead-up to her return and she has a class edge over most of these rivals.
4 Units Leading Girl
Race 8 - 6:20pm AEST
Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m)
This is set to be an outstanding edition of the Belmont Sprint, and I’m going to have something on a couple of chances.
Elite Street didn’t quite measure up during his three-start Group 1 campaign in Melbourne in autumn, but he returned to the west to finish second, beaten a nose by Money Matters in the Group 3 Roma Cup.
He’ll need some luck from the barrier, but this looks the perfect race for him.
I’m also going to have a small speculative bet on The Velvet King.
The Velvet King didn’t show much in two starts for Peter Moody last spring, but his form in Perth has always been excellent, and we can have an each-way play at around the $11 mark.
3 Units Elite Street
1 Unit E/W The Velvet King
Race 9 - 6:50pm AEST
Seacorp Handicap (1000m)
Miss Frost shapes as a winning chance in what is a wide-open final race at Belmont on Saturday.
The Frost Giant mare has been a strong and consistent performer throughout her career, and she was good in better races than this one, last time in.
With appropriate luck, she can fight out the finish again.
2 Units E/W Miss Frost