Another huge day of black-type racing is on offer this Saturday at Morphettville with the running of the Listed Lightning Stakes between the two and three-year-olds.
We’ve run the rule over the entire meeting and offer our best bets below.
Race 1 - 12:22pm AEDT
Adelaide Galvanising Industries Handicap (1050m)
Alpha Flight is a promising type out of the Richard and Chantelle Jolly stable that can be expected to run well here off a break.
The lightly-raced two-year-old won his maiden on the Parks track by over a length back in March before stepping up in grade where he finished a good gap back to Hope at Hand over further.
That horse has since gone on to run a place in two Group 3 starts, while Alpha Flight’s form at the trials recently suggests he’s in for another big prep.
1 Unit Alpha Flight
Race 2 - 12:58pm AEDT
Thomas Farms Maiden Plate (1100m)
Lucky Blue has been everything but recently, finding one better at Gawler a couple of weeks ago after leading for most of the way from a sticky draw.
Still, good form is winning form, and there’s no knock on this boy having now run a place in four consecutive starts.
Three of those have come on rain-affected going, and he does have a much kinder draw to operate from with the in-form Todd Pannell steering.
With some speed on paper, I expect him to settle a little further back this time and save his best for late.
1 Unit Lucky Blue
Race 3 - 1:33pm AEDT
Furphy Handicap (1800m)
Gate Crash returns on the quick backup looking to improve on his third at Sandown last week in a race that really wasn’t run to suit.
Patrick Payne’s four-year-old has been a tough horse to follow at times, but the tempo never really suited him that day given it was slow going early.
He should find this much more to his liking, and I think the rise to 1800m – a journey he’s won over previously – only strengthens his claims.
2 Units Gate Crash
Race 4 - 2:08pm AEDT
Spring Carnival at Morphettville Handicap (1100m)
Competitive race here, but I’m looking to have something on Great Leveller at double figures.
This son of Stratum rattled off a hat-trick over the summer with two wins here at Morphettville, and he really hasn’t missed a beat in two runs back finishing half-a-length third to Aadelad first-up before being well-beaten for the same result by Spanish Heirloom on the Parks track a couple of weeks ago.
I think he’s set to peak now at this stage of his prep and he does have a couple of wins to his name third-up.
1 Unit E/W Great Leveller
Race 5 - 2:43pm AEDT
The Junction Handicap (1600m)
Angelic Scent bolted in to win first-up over shorter at Geelong and was far from disgraced at Flemington over the mile where she was held up at a crucial stage in the finish.
This is a slightly easier race now and she does have decent third-up form having run a place in the Morphettville Guineas during her maiden prep.
Her win at Geelong two starts back came in similar conditions, and from barrier 3, I expect her to be quite prominent in the run.
2 Units Angelic Scent
Race 6 - 3:23pm AEDT
Dominant Handicap (1600m)
Hearts and Minds is worth forgiving on his latest start at Flemington where he missed the start and simply found himself too far back to strike.
His win first-up at Geelong was full of merit though on a genuinely heavy track, while he also showed plenty of potential earlier in the year winning his maiden quite well at Echuca.
He’s drawn a much kinder gate here in what is a much easier race, and with fitness now on his side, I think he can atone.
2 Units Hearts and Minds
Race 7 - 4:03pm AEDT
Grand Syndicates - Join Team Grand Today! Handicap (1050m)
Zion’s recent form doesn’t stand out on paper, but his best is certainly good enough to win a ace like this.
The son of Rubick missed the kick and that cost him first-up at Gawler, but he was a comfortable winner second-up at Mornington during the spring, which makes me think he can bounce back.
The barrier certainly isn’t in his favour, but Todd Pannell retaining the ride is. Not sure how he’ll handle a genuinely wet track, but if he can land off the speed and let the race play out, he’ll be a threat.
1 Unit E/W Zion
Race 8 - 4:43pm AEDT
Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m)
Extremely Lucky returns from a break looking to add to his impressive record.
Will Clarken’s three-year-old was a dominant four-length winner over this track and distance back in May, a performance he can only improve on considering he did a few things wrong in transit.
He won well on debut at Murray Bridge to begin his career and was far from disgraced in the Group 2 Tobin Bronze prior to his latest win. Todd Pannell has ridden a stack of winners recently, and I think this pair will be hard to beat.
2 Units Extremely Lucky
Race 9 - 5:20pm AEDT
Zilzie Wines Handicap (1200m)
The step back up to 1200m looks ideal for Agrimony with a few runs under his belt now.
The son of Pivotal won over this same distance off a freshen-up on the Parks track last month and is now dropping back in grade after holding his own at Flemington a few weeks ago when a length fifth to Squid Game.
Todd Pannell was responsible for his first-up win, so him getting back in the irons is a big positive, especially from a low draw. After making up good ground in his latest, I think he’s the one to beat.
1 Unit Agrimony