Black-type racing returns to Morphettville this Saturday with the running of the Group 3 Spring Stakes over 1800m.
A small field of eight have accepted for the feature, all chasing last year’s winner Behemoth, who has been installed as the short-priced favourite.
With rain forecast for later in the week, we should be racing on something close to a Soft 7 with the rail out four metres.
For our best bets ahead of Spring Stakes Day, be sure to read our preview below!
Race 1 - 12:17pm
Dominant Handicap (Heat 1 Rebel Raider Series) (1200m)
He’s Xceptional makes his return to the races looking to build on a strong autumn campaign that featured a first-up maiden win at Cranbourne.
The Busuttin and Young-trained three-year-old went on to race well in some tougher contests in Melbourne and he was far from disgraced when fifth in the Group 3 Breeders Stakes on the Parks track.
He should be stalking the speed from barrier 4 and rates as the one to beat.
2 Units He’s Xceptional
Race 2 - 12:52pm
Adelaide Galvanising Handicap (1050m)
Alleboom is a proven customer over this trip with four wins on the board and rates highly to add another in his return to the races.
The son of Spirit of Boom has returned a place in all three of his starts first-up from a spell and he should give the others something to catch.
Lakhani Rose carried big weight to a win here at Morphettville during the spring. She’s got the runs on the board fresh and contested much tougher races than this last time in.
The six-year-old gets the blinkers off for the first time and should be doing her best work late.
2 Units Lakhani Rose
Race 3 - 1:27pm
The Junction Handicap (Heat 3 NJT Series) (2500m)
Really tricky race between the stayers with a case to be made for a few.
Mahis Angel is shooting for his hat-trick after gapping his rivals by big margins in his previous two starts. He beat a good horse home in Lord Bouzeron by 3.5L over this track and trip two weeks ago and appeared to have plenty left in reserve.
Bear Arms follows a similar script after winning comfortably himself over the track and distance last start. He’ll appreciate any extra sting out of the track and can go on with it.
Clever Man comes out of that same race where he finished a clear second. He’s got the awkward barrier to contend with, but the fact he’s dropping 3kg’s in weight is a big plus.
2 Units Mahis Angel
Race 4 - 2:07pm
G.H. Mumm Maiden Plate (1050m)
Not a race I’m overly keen to dive into, but I do think it’s a winnable contest for Danse De La Lune in her third career start.
The mare by Choisir was brilliant on debut when a length second at Camperdown and was seen doing her best work late first-up back in June.
She comes into this fresh and gets the tongue-tie off for the first time with Jacob Opperman’s apprentice claim put to good use.
1 Unit Danse De La Lune
Race 5 - 2:47pm
Spring Racing Carnival at Morphettville Handicap (1800m)
Classy Joe put close to six lengths between himself and his opponents two weeks ago over this same track and trip on a Heavy 10.
He’ll carry 5.5kg’s extra dropping back in grade, but there’s no reason he can’t go on with it.
Motell broke a run of placings over the mile two weeks ago with an impressive win on rain-affected going. He’s run well previously over 1800m and should relish getting out over further with Jason Holder retaining the ride.
France’s Boy has placed in two from his last three and has claims.
2 Units Motell
Race 6 - 3:27pm
James Squire Spring Stakes (1200m)
Behemoth is back to defend his crown in the Spring Stakes, and it is very difficult to back against the short-priced favourite in his first run back from a spell.
The son of All Too Hard won this race by close to two lengths last year before going on to claim back-to-back Group 1’s at Caulfield in the Memsie and the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
He eats up 1200m and is also a four-time winner first-up, while he also looked in good order during a trial win at Baklava last week.
Given his equally impressive soft track form, he’ll take a power of beating.
4 Units Behemoth
Race 7 - 4:07pm
Grand Syndicates Handicap (1200m)
Specialism takes winning form into the seventh at Morphettville following a strong second-up win over shorter here two weeks ago.
Will Clarken’s five-year-old mare had a bit of work to do that day on the Heavy 9, so everything suggests she’ll handle the sting out of the track with rain about earlier in the week.
She won her last start by close to two lengths with plenty left in the tank and was seen doing her best work late the start prior.
Out to 1200m looks a big tick for her now and she’s drawn to get a lovely run off the speed.
2 Units Specialism
Race 8 - 4:47pm
Furphy Handicap (1514m)
The Siscos Kid has placed in six of his 10 starts to date and is looking to make it a winning double following a gutsy win at Mildura last month.
The five-year-old gelding by Danerich really dug deep in the late stages to pick up a well-deserved win and the way he finished through the line suggested he should go well over further.
Fitter for two runs back, he has plenty of scope to improve in what is a very open race.
1 Unit The Siscos Kid
Race 9 - 5:25pm
Sandra (Sammy) Elliott Champagne Lover Handicap (1100m)
Hard to get away from Naleigh in the last after her effort two weeks ago in the Listed Lightning Stakes for fifth.
This is a much easier race for Will Clarken’s four-year-old and we know she’ll be finishing strongly based on what we’ve seen from her this prep.
Providing she doesn’t miss the start again, she’s the one to beat for mine.
2 Units Naleigh