Say From SA: Oakbank – Saturday, 30th of March 2024

Lovely Lookin’ to make it two on the bounce.

PENTHOUSE winning the TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

It's Hills Railway Stakes Day at Oakbank on Saturday and with a few smart ones engaged I'm confident we can bring home the chocolates a day early.

We look to strike early in the card with progressive three-year-old filly Lovely Lookin' from the Andrew Gluyas yard.

The daughter of American Pharoah lived right up to market expectation first up with a dominant on-pace victory at HQ. Although just having the one second-up attempt, Lovely Lookin' was a 15-pound mark-up at the same point last campaign, when shedding the maiden tag. Returning with a rating of 88 on the Racing and Sports scale, if she's able to replicate or better that figure, I don't see them beating her. The obvious danger and only other horse inside double figures in early markets is resuming three-year-old gelding Great Maximus. While he was an impressive maiden winner back in November, the R & C Jolly-trained runner only ran to a 76 on the R &S scale – 12 pounds off what our filly returned with. While the gelding has no doubt taken improvement during the break, I doubt he will be forward enough to knock off Lovely Lookin'.

As for the value play, we head to the feature where I'm confident Penthouse from the Matthew Dale camp can give us a very bold sight, and if not steal the Hills Railway Stakes.

The four-year-old Capitalist mare has returned in career best form this campaign, most notably running to a new peak of 100 when placing second-up in the G3 Bellmaine Stakes at Caulfield. Dipping off the mark in the Triscay Stakes (90), Penthouse hit straight back last start at Moonee Valley in the LR Abell Stakes, running to a 98 rating when beaten 1.6L by Indian Pacific. While her peaks don't, at this stage, match the favourite Taunting's (109), the mare is drawn much kinder and carries a clear fitness edge over many of her rivals. The school of thinking in which "she's not up this", relies on a horse like Taunting to return at his best, and with a bad gate and two 'chinky' trials in, I'm willing to take the gamble.

Say From SA

Best: Race 2 #2 Lovely Lookin' @ $2.20

Value: Race 8 Hills Railway Stakes #6 Penthouse @ $9/3.25