Rosehill - Race 7 3:00pm AEDT
No. 2 Rustic Steel
Rustic Steel looks set to run a huge race third-up in the Festival Stakes.
We haven’t seen much of Kris Lees’ six-year-old over the last 12 months, but he did make a big impression in The Hunter two weeks ago when making up a stack of late ground down the outside.
The son of Deep Field tends to improve third-up and he should find the wet track to his liking with Sam Clipperton retaining the ride.
Caulfield - Race 8 3:20pm AEDT
No. 1 Vow And Declare
He doesn’t win out of turn, but Vow And Declare does appear capable of going back-to-back in the Zipping Classic.
Danny O’Brien’s old boy follows a similar setup to his win last year, finishing runner-up in the Might And Power three back at Caulfield before a tough run out wide in the Melbourne Cup.
He’s drawn some horror gates so far this prep, but from barrier 6 with Billy Egan still in the saddle, he’s capable of bouncing back to form.
Rosehill - Race 8 3:40pm AEDT
No. 1 Malkovich
Malkovich can give the Starlight Stakes a real shake in his first run back.
Bjorn Baker’s six-year-old tends to fly fresh, while he also spent time taking on tougher races like the John Monash Stakes at Caulfield earlier in the year.
His recent trial at Hawkesbury was an easy watch, and like others, a little sting out of the track only strengthens his claims.
Ascot - Race 9 7:20pm AEDT
No. 15 Ripcord
Ripcord has plenty of admirers heading into this year’s Winterbottom Stakes.
Luke Fernie’s three-year-old was enormous two weeks ago over the track and trip, flashing home late with an impressive turn of foot to claim the Placid Ark Stakes in a diving finish.
This is the toughest assignment he’s faced, but the son of Written By should be rock-hard fit with four runs under his belt, and if he can settle closer in the run this time, he’ll be very hard to hold out.