Best Bet: WICKLOW (Race 9)
Value Bet: PAPAL WARRIOR (Race 7)
Jackpot (race 7 – 10)
Stablemates from the powerful Chris Waller yard could fight out the finish to this race, but the day’s value bet, PAPAL WARRIOR is given the nod. He had finished second in his two runs prior to winning last time out over 1300M by ahead. He finished strongly that day to claim victory in the shadow of the post and from draw six, he should be right up there when they hit the line. His stable companion, NYAMI could pose the biggest threat. He goes for his hat-trick after two wins over today’s journey, the latest by a short-head. He made good late progress that day and from gate eight, he looks a solid back-up for the yard.
LA CHEVALEE is a 4yr old filly taking on the boys, but she is seldom far off the action and had to be held upon entering the home straight before ending up in third place in her last outing over a mile, 0.7L behind the winner. She will have to overcome a wide draw fourteen out of fifteen, but on the plus side, she will get 2kg taken off her back thanks to her claiming apprentice.
VITESSE is a 5yr old mare taking on males, but she has cracked pole position and showed solid improvement to win her last start over 1300M by ahead. She hit the front at the 250M mark and then held off all the late challengers in the drive down to the wire.
SMART IMAGE has finished closer to the winner in each of his last three runs, the latest when chasing well to end up in the second spot over six furlongs, just a head behind the winner. He has a handy draw four and could be the one to pick up the pieces should the top choice fluff her lines.
STARLA is the stable companion of the top selection. She is a 4yr old filly who was hampered at the jump when finishing seventh last time out over six furlongs, just under four and a half lengths back from the winner, but the form of that race has been franked. She has her peak run after returning from a 12-week rest and has a wide draw twelve, but she should be closing in on the leaders over the latter stages of the contest.
WICKLOW’S record of three wins and two third-place finishes in his six runs to date speaks for itself and he completed his hat-trick when winning his last two outings over this c&d, the latest by one and a half lengths, so his current form is solid. He had to come three-wide into the home straight that day but finished well to win going away. He will have to negotiate draw eleven, but nevertheless, he is taken to be the best bet on the day’s card.
MASERARTIE BAY on the other hand has a cracked pole position. He has consistent form lines to his name and had finished second in his two outings prior to ending up on four places last time out over ten furlongs, just 0.8L off the victor. He battled all the way down to the line that day and gets the services of ex-SA jockey Keagan Latham, so should get all the necessary assistance from the saddle.
LACKEEN has finished second in his last two runs, both over ten furlongs, the latest when beaten ahead. He came four-wide into the straight that day and hit the front at the 320M mark, only to be run out of it very close to home. He faces a wide draw fourteen but should be doing his best work late to be involved in the finish.
EXPAT had her consistency rewarded with a 0.8L victory last time out over 1300M. She went from jump to wire that day and from gate seven, she is likely to adopt similar tactics here and could prove difficult to reel in over the closing stages of the race.
STEEL DIAMOND stayed on well when beaten ahead into second place last time out over six furlongs when returning from a lengthy 41-week absence. She faces a wideish gate nine, but she could emerge as the biggest danger to the top choice.
KATALIN followed up her penultimate run victory over 1300M with a fifth-place finish next time out over the same trip, just under three lengths adrift of the winner. She had to be steadied off the heels of other runners at the 1000M pole that day and then overraced in the middle stages, so that effort was commendable. She has an even wider gate eleven, but she should still be included in all bets.