Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - GIVE SOME LIP (6) is a promising three-year-old ready to peak after two runs back from a spell. Was definitely looking for further last start when he stoked up late but found Wiggum a little too good over 1000m at Murray Bridge in a Bm62. Beautifully placed out to 1250m in maiden company and should be breaking through. DODD (5) returned from a 27-week spell in the same race as Give Some Lip at Murray Bridge and worked home well to finish fifth. Peaked last prep second-up over 1200m so this looks an ideal progression. KARAKA KIWI (1) returns from a six-month spell. Found stakes company beyond him at the end of last prep. Needs more ground eventually but won a recent trial so looks set for a bright return over the sprint course. BONA FIDE STAR (4) was a shade disappointing last start but with Holder taking over today he is worth another chance. RADIANT KNIGHT (2) first-up from a ten-month break for a new stable is worth monitoring for market support.
RACE 2 - Hard to rule too many of these out. The consistent KATIM'S CLUB (2) worked into the race nicely but couldn't overcome Picky last start over 1200m on the main circuit. Back against the boys today but should relish the return to 1400m and with even luck from the sticky gate she is the one to beat. CHARM SLINGA (7) caught the eye first-up then missed the kick and didn't get involved last time over 1250m at this track. Up in grade but drops 5.5kgs after the claim. Very fit now and can improve sharply. RED SEQUOIA (9) settled midfield and didn't yield much ground in the run home over a mile on the main circuit a fortnight ago. Fitter for two runs back and deserves another chance. The speedy BASE OF FIRE (3) is yet to miss the frame in four runs at today's trip, so watch for him to improve at the third run back. THE LADIES MAN (4) was poor last start at Balaklava but is better than that.
RACE 3 - PLATINUM WOLF (7) was impossible to miss when resuming last start over 1200m at Murray Bridge, flashing home after giving away a big start only to miss by the barest margin. Has a fine second-up record and should enjoy getting to this distance for the first time. Genuine mare ALPINE FLYER (4) did her best work late to get up for second last time out over 1500m on the main track. That run followed a one-month let-up so she should find a little improvement. Serious contender. PRINCE JOFRA (2) led the Murtoa Cup field into the straight last start but tired at the end of the 2050m and finished fourth. Won't find this as hard and his strike rate at this trip is 40%, so he will be tough to run down. AITCH D'AMICO (5) wasn't up to scratch last start but gets some weight relief today so deserves another chance.
RACE 4 - REGAL VALOUR (5) came wide on the bend then didn't run on last start over 1550m here when second-up. Gets out to a more suitable journey today and has a better record at this stage of the prep. Watch for sharp improvement. CROWN HARMONIUM (4) failed last time out in the 1860m Avoca Cup. Use her strong second over a mile on the outer track here two starts ago as a guide to her chances. TOYETIC (2) has been unsighted at both runs this campaign in races that were far too sharp. Is a winner at this trip and his best figures are certainly good enough. Worth a speculative wager at massive odds. MANZALA (3) hasn't won in ages but he has found the line nicely at his last couple of runs. Must be respected.
RACE 5 - Open race. SECOND TO NUN (9) blew her chances at the start but worked through the line well when resuming over 1000m at Murray Bridge last start. Has won second-up before and both her wins have come at six furlongs. Sure to be charging home off the back of a strong tempo. ORNAMENTAL LADY (7) was there to strike on the corner and tried very hard but just missed when resuming over 1200m on the course proper a fortnight ago. Goes well second-up and has outstanding credentials at this trip. Big chance from a favourable draw. THE GUAVA (2) raced on the speed but his condition gave out when resuming over 1200m at Murray Bridge recently. Won here at this trip at the end of last prep. Good each-way hope. PRICILLA'S CHOICE (8) draws a better gate today and can bounce back after a mediocre effort last time.
RACE 6 - TAPINFORPAR (2) has raced well this prep and looks nicely placed to break through. Best of the three runs since resuming was two back when beaten under a length in a similar race to this. Draws in close for the first time in the campaign so he gets his chance. HEADPHONES (6) was there to pounce on straightening but couldn't match Whiskey 'N' Women over this distance at Murray Bridge last time out. That run came off a five-week let-up so she should tighten up a bit. Distance specialist with strong each-way claims. MISS KERMIE (8) lengthened nicely to get up for a close third when resuming over 1200m on the outer course a fortnight ago. Better placed out to this trip so she looks sure to be competitive again. KYOKUSHIN (7) has just missed at his last couple in Victoria. In the mix.
RACE 7 - GRAND PIERRO (1) is the class runner ready to peak at the third run back from a spell. Jumped poorly then raced wide before finding the line well to finish midfield a fortnight ago over 1700m at Caulfield. Won the Listed Geelong Classic this time last year. Beautifully placed out to this trip third-up and should prove too good for these. DISAGREEABLE MISS (5) has been up for a while but is holding her form well. Made a sustained run to get up for second at her latest appearance over 2500m on the course proper. Genuine mare but is finding it hard to win. WHEELS (7) caught the eye first-up over 1500m, coming from near the tail on straightening to get up for third on the outer track here. Good second-up performer and has a win and a placing from two runs at the trip. SET TO PROPHET (8) is on trial at this distance but his best figures stack up strongly. TRUMPSTA (9) has struggled this prep but gets to his preferred trip now so can improve.
RACE 8 - ALPHA FLIGHT (8) struggled again under a big weight last start when he was near enough on the turn but couldn't quicken over this distance at Murray Bridge. Back on the limit today and he has a solid record at this track. Capable of turning things around at nice odds. DARING MOVE (6) improved sharply last time out at the second run of the campaign, motoring home to be beaten just 1.2 lengths in a Bm68 over this distance at Murray Bridge. Three of her four wins have come over 1000m at this circuit. Very fit now and poses a serious threat. THE GOV (5) battled on evenly without threatening at her most recent run over 1050m on the course proper. Down a little in class and capable of testing this line-up. GRINZINGER PRINCE (3) scored a big win here first-up. Doesn't generally reproduce at the second run back but cannot be ruled out. MAGIC MAX (2) resumes. Good fresh performer with a decent top-three strike-rate at this journey.
RACE 9 - Tough race to close. The sparingly raced HALLSTATT (2) is an interesting runner first-up from a seven-month spell. Failed at the only outing last prep in a run worth ignoring. Showed ability this time last year, highlighted by a big effort at Flemington during Cup week over this distance. Major player if the betting suggests he is ready to fire. FOSTER STREET (6) was never a hope a fortnight ago over 1100m after a nice win here first-up. Draws a better gate today so watch for a spike in form. LAKE AGAWAM (3) led all the way and gave nothing else a chance here at this trip last time when fresh from an eight-week break. Should be competitive in this tougher race.