Best Bet: HARD FAITH (Race 6)
Value Bet: PRINCE AKEEM (Race 7)
Jackpot (race 5 – 8)
MR WHITACRE is seldom far off the action and battled all the way down to the wire before just getting beaten last time out over six furlongs by a head when returning from a lengthy 46-week absence. He gets gate four and should put in another honest performance today.
ANSELMO had to be held up at the 400M mark before ending up in eighth place last time out over 1250M, six and a half lengths adrift of the winner, but the form of that race has been franked. He has a wideish draw eight, but the blinkers are removed for his run today and if this move proves to be saucerful, he should be right up there when they hit the line.
Although MONDIAL EXPRESS is recorded as finishing seventh last time out over 1100M, he was just 2.7L back from the winner. He was returning from a 31 week break that day and was hampered at the 150M pole, so should have finished closer to the winner than he did. He is sure to put his handy draw two to good use.
HARD FAITH is a 6yr old mare taking on the boys, but her last four runs have produced two second and two third-place finishes, the latest when she tried to go from jump to wire over 1350M before ending up in second spot, beaten by a head in the shadow of the post. She is drawn six out of the small field of eight runners and is taken to be the best bet on the day’s card.
SAUSALITO is drawn one inside the top choice and made solid improvement to be second in his last outing over five furlongs, just a half-length behind the winner, this despite coming five wide into the home stretch. He finished strongly that day suggesting that he should enjoy going over the extra ground on offer today. He has his peak run after returning from a 17-week rest and could emerge as the biggest danger to the top pick.
BEDTIME STORIES is a 5yr old mare who made a marked improvement when winning her last start over five furlongs by a head. She made good late progress in that event and although draw in gate seven, she should be involved in the finish.
The day’s value bet, PRINCE AKEEM has only had the two runs to date, but he made the expected improvement to win by a short-head over 1280M at the second time of asking. He should have come on further with that run under his belt and from his cosy draw two, he could prove to be difficult to topple here.
GIRLS KICK ON is a 3yr old filly taking on males, but she raced up with the pace before ending up second in her last outing over 1100M, just over four and a half lengths back from the winner and the form of that race has been franked. She jumps from gate five and should give the boys a good run for their money.
SUPER SOLAR finished third in his last start over 1300M, just over two and a half lengths adrift of the victor and was immediately rested for 17 weeks. The gelding returns here after putting in two encouraging barrier trials and from draw seven, he should be right up there in the firing line.
GOOFY MICK is going for his hat-trick after two wins over this c&d, the latest by a short-head. He overraced in the early stages that day and then shifted out in the closing stages but stuck to his task well to record a gutsy victory. He has pulled gate seven and the trio of wins is very much on the cards. He will however face stiff opposition from BIG HAPPINESS who is also on his hat-trick after winning his last two outings over this c&d since returning from a 15-week break, the latest by 3.3L. He faces a wide draw ten, but he should test the top pick to the full.
TUPOU has won two of his last three outings, the latest over 1100M by a head. The victory was made that much more encouraging by the fact that he was forced three-wide approaching the final turn. He however kicked clear of the field at the 50M mark to secure his second career victory and although drawn one outside the latter, he should be included in all bets.