There's nine races on the card, with the first getting underway at 11.30am AEST.
The track is currently rated a Heavy 8 with the rail in the 3m position.
My thoughts on every race on the card are below.
Best Bet: Race 5 - (3) Spiritual Pursuit
Best Value Bet: Race 3 - (10) Ester's Rose & (11) Heaven's High
(9) Spend has trialled well leading into his debut today. He's won both jumpouts at Warwick Farm and Rosehill and the latest of those was on heavy ground so he should handle conditions here. (3) True Detective won on debut over this track and distance at the end of February and resumes today with two trials under the belt. I think he's got a fair degree of talent so from the good draw, with Bowman on board for Waller, he should be very competitive. (10) Intrepidacious could be some sort of value at double figures after a good first up run behind Enforcement. She's since been back to the trals and can run better than her price suggests.
(2) Phaistos should appreciate the rise in trip today after running home well into 2nd last start behind (1) Call Me Royal. Call Me Royal just had too big a headstart on that occasion but Phaistos recorded the best final 400m of the race and gets a big jockey change today with Bowman replacing Schofield. Call Me Royal has had four starts at Rosehill for four top-two placings so she will be in the finish again. (11) Monegal looks the value at $18 after running 3rd behind those two last start. She gets in with a light weight once again and she's run 2nd in both her previous second up runs. (3) Cinquedea comes into this off two big wins at the provinicials and can measure up.
Tricky edition of the Highway Handicap, as they always typically are. From a betting perspective there's three horses that interest me. (12) Nashian recorded the best final sectionals in defeat in a similiar Highway Handicap last start, when beaten 1.6L over 1200m here on heavy ground. She drew barrier 14 on that occasion and was forced to settle a long way back in the field. Today she draws barrier 8 so expect her to settle much closer to the speed. She should be right in the finish. (10) Ester's Rose and (11) Heaven's High finished alongside each other in 2nd and 3rd in the Grafton Guineas Prelude last start. The winner of that race was Charmed Princess, who then came out and won the Grafton Guineas, so the form has stacked up. They're both at $26 here and I think both represent a bit of value, especially as both are lightly raced and third up from a spell. Happy to play small on both at the odds.
(10) Waking Moment might never find a more suitable race to win, but with just one win from 20 career starts, it's hard to jump in to $2.70. She's been great in her two starts back from a spell, recording the best last 600m first up and the best final sectional when 2nd last time out. She's third up from a spell today with just 51kg and gets her preferred ground (heavy), so there's absolutely no excuses if she can't win this. I'll save on her purely because her winning record is the big issue. (3) High Power has been racing better than his form reads. He's been slow away and forced to settle a long way back in his three runs back from a spell, but he gets in well at the weights today and looks a solid each way chance at $6.00. He'll be my main bet at $6.00/$2.10. (9) Bringagem had no luck last start and is a blowout chance at $34.
(3) Spiritual Pursuit looks the obvious choice here. She was huge in defeat first up when caught four-wide without cover all race, before atoning for that defeat with a sound win last time out. She steps back up to 1100m today which is no problem and she's undefeated on heavy ground. With the claim for Sam Clenton, she gets in well enough at the weights and should be winning with even luck. (4) Deity will appreciate stepping up to 1100m after two good efforts to open her campaign. She was beaten 1.7L by Spiritual Pursuit first up and gets in at the same weights today so it's hard to see her turning the tables. (11) Sebring Express has a good second up record and is a place chance.
I think (3) Nahuel can find the necessary improvement second up today to win this. He was beaten 4.3L first up over 1400m but his second up record is terrific and suggests to me he'll take great improvement from that run. He was beaten a similar margin first up last prep before coming out and winning second up, so despite him looking for even further than this, he should prove hard to beat with Bowman in the saddle. (1) Curragh comes up from Melbourne and should acquit himself well. (8) Love Shack Baby was slightly disappointing for mine last start but can improve third up, while (9) Cyber Intervention recorded the best final 200m of the race when running 2nd first up so has to be respected stepping up in trip.
Two I'm keen to back here. (1) Stampede can mix his form but he was dynamic first up last prep when bolting in by 5L over the mile at Randwick on heavy ground. He resumes off a fairly similar break today and although it's over the shorter trip of 1400m, he'll be hard to beat if he turns up with a similar performance to that. He's got a great first up record and a great record on heavy ground so he should be tough to run down at good each way odds of $7.50. (3) New Tipperary could be the value at $10. He ran a bottler first up in the Civic Stakes and he typically improves significantly second up. He's won four from seven when second up so given he was less than a length off the winner first up, I'd expect him to go well at double figure odds here.
Competitive race with several winning chances. (3) Tonsor could be a decent each way chance at $9.00. He had no luck last start and his form from earlier this prep was decent in both Sydney and Brisbane. He's third up from an eight-week break today and draws nicely in barrier 1 for a soft run. Goes well in the conditions and has a good record at the distance so he's not the worst bet in an open race. (7) Fortensky is first up from a long spell and finished last in his only trial leading into this but he's got a good first up record and looks a blowout chance at 50/1. (8) Southern Lad is racing consistently well and gets his chance again today to make it back-to-back wins, while (14) River Bird has won her past two and gets in with a light weight once again.
I was very keen on (7) Handle The Truth at double figure odds first up when he had absolutely no luck and was beaten just 1.5L. He was caught three-wide without cover, travelled into the race like the winner but the work he did throughout the race eventually told late. I was even more keen on him when he was set to line up a week or two ago, making him my best bet of the day, but he was scratched at the barriers. He's got a great record at this track and distance and has won his only start on heavy ground. Drawn barrier 1 for a soft run and provided the inside of the track is playing okay, he should prove very hard to beat.
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