We’re racing at HQ on Saturday and the Listed A.R. Creswick Stakes headlines the nine-race program.
The rail will be set out a whopping eleven metres around the entire course and at publish, we’re faced with a track rated in the Soft (6) range.
Race 1 - 11:45am
Rod Johnson Handicap (1420m)
I’m going to have a small each-way bet on Forbidden City in the first at HQ on Saturday.
She didn’t show a lot on debut in February, but Forbidden City resumed at Geelong a couple of weeks ago with a smart effort to only just miss behind Tonneofgrit.
Peter Moody doesn’t take his horses to town unless he thinks that they are up to it, and the booking of Jamie Kah to ride is another obvious bonus.
1 Unit E/W Forbidden City
Race 2 - 12:20pm
Adam Lindsay Gordon Handicap (2540m)
South Pacific has stripped fitter for three starts back this time, and this looks the perfect race for him.
The Galileo gelding needed the run when he finished sixth behind Persan at The Valley in March, but ran home well to finish fifth, beaten only two lengths at Caulfield second-up.
He has been kept fresh since his last-start effort for fourth in the Warrnambool Cup, and a repeat of that effort would likely be good enough in a race like this one.
3 Units South Pacific
Race 3 - 12:55pm
Murray Cox Handicap (1000m)
Express Pass has returned two nice efforts since resuming and he is ready to win at Flemington on Saturday.
The Wandjina gelding filled the minors behind Modear over 1100m here when resuming and flew home again to only just miss at Ladbrokes Park last time.
Fitter third-up, back to the straight and with some relief in the weights, I’m confident he’ll make his presence felt.
4 Units Express Pass
Race 4 - 1:30pm
Bruce Gadsden Handicap (1420m)
Witchfulthinking looks to have found good and consistent form, and she looms as a key winning chance in the fourth on A.R. Creswick Stakes Day.
Witchfulthinking charged in to salute in BM78 company at The ‘Bool two starts back and was only beaten half a length by an exciting prospect in Snickerdoodledandy here last time.
She’s rock-hard fit and needs only even luck to be in the finish again.
4 Units Witchfulthinking
Race 5 - 2:05pm
The David Bourke (1620m)
The talented Kurabui puts her unbeaten record on the line and steps into Saturday company for the first time this week, and I am more than happy to stick with her.
She stamped herself as a horse to follow with a dominant win on debut at Pakenham in November and she has won each of her three subsequent starts in style, including two back from a spell this time.
Jamie Kah stays in the saddle and with even luck, the mare can continue her rise through the grades.
5 Units Kurabui
Race 6 - 2:45pm
Sir Henry Bolte Handicap (2000m)
Namakwa has found peak condition and looms as the runner to beat again in the sixth at Flemington this week.
He took a few starts back this time to find good and consistent form, but charged back into the winner’s stall at Ballarat two starts back before recording an easy win at this track and distance a fortnight ago.
Given he beat home a lot of his rivals here last time as well, I don’t see any reason why he won’t be able to replicate the result.
4 Units Namakwa
Race 7 - 3:25pm
Listed A.R. Creswick Stakes (1200m)
Snickerdoodledandy will take winning form into Saturday’s feature race in Melbourne, and it looks a lovely target for her.
The former Perth filly has improved noticeably with each of her three starts since joining Peter Moody’s stable, culminating in an eye-catching win over 1410m here a fortnight ago.
The small drop in trip should be too much of an issue for her, and with even luck, she’ll take plenty of beating again.
4 Units Snickerdoodledandy
Race 8 - 4:00pm
Brian Beattie Handicap (1420m)
Rubisaki only just missed last time and this is her opportunity to win.
The Rubick mare is a multiple black type winner, and she flashed home late to finish third in the Group 1 Robert Sangster at Morphettville second-up this time.
She has drawn ideally in barrier 5 and really doesn’t have any excuses.
5 Units Rubisaki
Race 9 - 4:32pm
Jack Styring OAM Sprint (1100m)
There are several talented horses engaged, but this looks a lovely race for The Astrologist.
He was nothing short of outstanding during his first prep for Leon & Troy Corstens, and The Astrologist has had two starts back this time for fifth in the Listed Chief De Beers and fourth in the Group 2 Moreton Cup.
Fitter third-up and dropping in class, I can’t find a reason why he won’t be in the finish.
3 Units E/W The Astrologist