Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - KEITH (3) scored a massive win in a Class 2 over this course and distance three runs back. Subsequently filled a placing at the mile on a heavy track then failed when tested at 1800m. Clearly the one to beat back in a weaker race over a more suitable trip. MILITARY MANOEUVER (1) chimed in late to get up for second over 1800m here recently. Scored a big win over this journey in a Bm50 at Forbes two starts back. Plenty of weight but has the right credentials. FACE THE DAY (5) was an eye-catcher at Nowra at his latest appearance. Racing well this prep and another podium finish is on the cards. FOXY GAL (9) returned her best recent rating in a Bm66 over this course and distance two starts ago. In the mix with a repeat of that effort. ENCYCLOPEDIA (10) meets stiffer opposition today but from the inside gate a top-three finish is not out of the question.
RACE 2 - The race has been smashed with scratchings so just the three of them go around. ZOURATA (6) won two on the trot before failing to quicken under a crushing weight over this distance at Echuca last start. Drops a massive 7.5kgs and is good enough to turn things around. ESPIRITO (2) took a while to find clear galloping room so his tenth at the Kensington track last time was excusable. Generally hits form at this stage of the prep so expect a return to form from this usually reliable sprinter. FANGELA (3) was pestered in the lead and consequently dropped out at his latest appearance over 1200m at Canberra. Has three wins and three placings from six runs at this distance. Plenty to like about his chances.
RACE 3 - This trip is foreign to most of these, so it is tricky. MR FABULOUS (3) has run a couple of nice races this prep at the provincials, the latest a closing third over 2000m at Kembla. Lightly raced four-year-old from a stable that knows a thing or two about stayers. Trust they have pulled the right rein here. LOOK SHARPISH (1) was gone a long way out last time around over 2500m at Morphettville. Smart mare on her day so in this company with D Beasley up she deserves another chance. NORTHERN TAHNEE (4) made it three on the trot when he led all the way to score comfortably over 2500m here recently. Will give a great sight again if allowed to dictate. FRANCESCO BEN (6) was only 1.2 lengths off Northern Tahnee here two runs back and has placed since. Going too well to leave out. WILL TO EXCEL (7) won this race two years ago so we know he will get the trip.
RACE 4 - RELEASE THE BRAKES (5) missed the top three for the first time in five starts when a very close fifth over 1115m at Echuca ten days ago. Has raced once this way of going for a win at Albury two back. Drops 6kgs with the claim so she can certainly bounce straight back. LAUREL HILL (3) is a consistent mare back from a 19-week break. Failed first-up last prep but it was on a heavy track over 1000m. Better placed at this trip and her best figures put her right in contention. Consider BOLD TRIUMPH (4) carefully off a 19-week spell. Has been in the money at both first-up runs and does perform well here at 1200m. QUINLAN (1) resumes from a nine-week break. Opened last prep with a thumping 7.3 length win in a 1300m Corowa maiden. Can return with another big run. SWEET BELUGA (9) is also first-up. Goes fast and can give some cheek.
RACE 5 - DARK LEGACY (8) returned from a three-month spell last start with a determined third over 1400m at Wodonga. Lightly raced mare who is still a maiden but is going to appreciate the extra trip and her figures suggest she is up to this class. TRUST BILL (3) backs up six days after finishing in the money over 1200m at Balranald. Ran a nice second over the mile at Leeton two runs ago. Very fit and should be about the mark again. PHOTO MAN (6) is a three-start maiden who has found the line well without threatening at each start to date, all in races over 1200-1300m. Getting to this trip is the key. STAND IN LINE (7) made up some late ground to finish fourth recently over 1500m at Hawkesbury. Fitter for two runs back so worth plenty of thought. MAYFAIR HOTEL (10) on a six-day turnaround can improve sharply at the third run back from a spell.
RACE 6 - The scratchings thin this out a bit and ROCKET TIGER (1) has the class to prevail. Finished third to the in-form Viviane when resuming over 1100m at Caulfield three runs back. Subsequently struggled in the Group 2 Gilgai at Flemington and a Bm78 at Randwick. Steps up to 1400m which is a slight query but otherwise looks the goods. NORTHERNERO (5) finally hit his straps at the fifth run of the prep last time out, scoring narrowly here over 1300m. Tackles a better race today but drops 4kgs and loves this circuit. STAR BUYER (13) followed a solid effort at Caulfield two runs ago with an eye-catching second most recently over 1300m at Seymour. Has a fine record at this distance and is worth serious consideration. SKY DIAMONDS (8) is better suited over a slightly longer trip but comes here fresh from a 44-day lay-off so keep her in mind. CONTROVERSIAL MISS (11) is racing well but this is as far as she likes it. Each-way claims.
RACE 7 - BOBOTOV (1) has been about the money at both runs this prep, the latest effort an eye-catching third over today's trip at Seymour. Gets the blinkers on for the first time so in a pretty thin maiden he looks perfectly placed to break through. The speedy I AM XTRAVAGANT (4) led but couldn't cross last time out over 1000m at this track before tiring close to home and finishing fourth. Should find the lead with a bit more comfort today over the longer trip out of gate one. Lightly raced three-year-old with plenty of scope for improvement. KUROKAREN (7) lacked the change of gears required when midfield over 1000m here recently. Has raced three times, all at that shorter trip, and she should relish getting out to six furlongs now. CLEAREDHOT (10) made late ground to get up for third when resuming over 1000m here last start. Back in good order and can go on with the job. GURTY (11) wasn't all that far away last time and is worth including.
RACE 8 - PURE PLATINUM (4) has been kept under wraps since she recovered from an early bump to get home well for second on debut over 1180m at Gundagai eight weeks ago. Will derive great benefit from that outing so from gate one today she looks the testing material. JORDY GIRL (1) returns from a 20-week spell. Opened last prep with a minor placing over this course and distance. Genuine mare whose chances have improved with the scratchings. ABOUT TO HAPPEN (6) is now in the Mick Travers stable. Has been struggling over longer trips in Victoria but could surprise switching back to five furlongs. HOLDONTOYASUPER (7) is a Super One debutant from the Paul Murray barn. Not asked to do a great deal at his only trial. Betting the key. SPIRIT LAKE (12) is one to keep an eye on first-up for a new trainer.