There was no love for Tofane in Saturday’s...
Race 3: The TAB Stakes (1200m) – Savanna Amour (each Way)
Osborne Bulls will be tough to beat over this distance, especially with a strong third-up record. Darren Weir’s main hopeful will have some ground to make up from barrier 11 though, which should leave the likes of Savanna Amour every chance to establish position down the straight. Chris Meagher’s five-year old has six career wins over this distance, and is 2-1 first up after running seventh in the Schillaci Stakes last month.
Race 4: Lexus Stakes (2500m) – Sixties Groove
The Irish raider has been a popular bet ahead of Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, and the Lexus is the perfect race to gauge exactly where he’s at. The six-year old won Darren Weir his first Moe Cup over 2050m a fortnight ago in impressive fashion, sitting well off the pace to explode along the rails to win by a head. It was a patient ride from jockey Craig Williams who takes the reins again on Saturday, and he’s received a nice 57kgs to make it back-to-back wins.
Race 5: Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) – Sesar
Not a lot of love for Steven O’Dea’s three-year old in this $1 million Group 1 sprint. Sesar has certainly done the work though, winning on a very wet surface over the same distance a month ago in the Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick. He was happy to sit off the pace in that one and run home late, which is exactly what I expect to see on Saturday from barrier five. Making his first start in Melbourne is a query, but he’s 2-1 over the 1200 and will take the track with the blinkers on once again.
Race 6: Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) – Invincibella
I thought she ran on really well last start in the Tristarc Stakes (1400m) and showed tremendous turn of foot from a four-wide position on a sticky track to finish second. Shillelagh, Chris Waller’s other hopeful, will be tough to beat after drawing barrier 10, but Invincibella has fared no worse than fourth this prep and we’ve already seen her win over the 1600m this time last year. She’s out to $9.50 with Ladbrokes as of this writing, but I’d expect her to come in a little before the jump.
Race 7: Victoria Derby (2500m) – Stars of Carrum
Plenty are Thinkin’ it’s a Big foregone conclusion that Gai Waterhouse’s Ladbrokes Classic winner is a morale to win the Derby, but I’m not so sure. Stars of Carrum, the colt out of Fiorente, showed the speed and burst of her dad last week darting from last place to steal a win in the Moonee Valley Vase (2040m). He looks perfectly comfortable swooping in late from a wide position, which is exactly what he’ll need to do this weekend if he’s any chance of taking down Thinkin’ Big, who will no doubt lead. Stars of Carrum ran the fastest 600m, 400m and 200m splits on a fairly slow track last week at Moonee Valley, so there’s plenty of encouraging signs to bank on.
Race 8: Kennedy Mile (1600m) – Cliff’s Edge
Very open edition of the Mile and you could probably build a case for a handful of runners. Cliff’s Edge backs up from a win last week at The Valley in the Crystal Mile, a run that saw him win narrowly over Prized Icon at the line. He’s the kind of horse that continues to build from a big win like that, and he’s certainly fit enough to handle the short turnaround. Last week saw him handle the wide draw from barrier 10 with ease, which is encouraging considering he’s drawn barrier 11 this week.
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