Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - ARUMA (1) has won three of her five career starts, never winning a race with more than six runners, a trend that can continue here. She led last start with GEEGEES DOWN SOUTH (2) to her outside, and despite being headed in the straight, she showed a great will to win. The runner-up has a 2kg swing in his favour and an inside draw this time around. WINNING WITNESS (4) comes via the same race. She was the fastest sectional closer there, but the quinella pinched a winning break on the home turn. This similarly small field doesn't map a lot differently to that contest. JOHNNIE PINCH (3) has been towards the head of the market in both runs back, each in maiden grade, so this is obviously a class jump.
RACE 2 - NEED TO THINK (7) hasn't been sighted since a black book debut, where she worked through the field nicely after settling near the rear. That's since proven to be a decent form race, and she has the services of Craig Newitt, who is back for the meeting. SWINGING IT (8) will start much shorter than last start, where she enjoyed the run of the race trailing the leaders. Second there won last Friday night. ROHZHAE (3) has placed in more than half his 11 career starts but remains a maiden. His recent Hobart trial was in moderate time for that session. NEED A GIGGLE (2) could sneak into the money with an economical run on the rail. BARATO (1) will likely find this a bit nippy but it's a race that falls away very quickly, particularly with the scratchings.
RACE 3 - The market has missed TURF PUZZLE (12) for most of her career, but that seems likely to change here. She didn't have much peace in front last time in Hobart but still boxed on well. On speed isn't likely to be a disadvantage tonight with the rail +9m. SAKURA HIME (11) had heavy market support resuming but could only manage a midfield finish after settling well back. Nice low draw, but it will be interesting to see what the market does with Parish replacing McCoull. KABOOM KABOOM (14) was good at the track and distance last start in a similar race and must at least be an each-way chance again. FREDDY'SAJETSTAR (1) was no chance first-up with where he settled but caught the eye hitting the line. INARIUS (2) debuts off the back of a 1400m trial at age four. It's not the easiest stable to get a read on debutants, but there have been some significant market moves from this camp landed of late.
RACE 4 - Those who backed CHEEKY WORD (9) last Friday night will still be scratching their heads about how they didn't collect. He was given a great ride from McCoull from a poor draw but lost a photo after clearly hitting the front in the straight. 1400m back to 1200m doesn't appear ideal, but he'd have every chance if landing behind the likely leader, WHEELING (13), who is racing well and will give a sight. THELMA (6) resumes with a great fresh record. She won a Hobart trial last week in slow time. I'M KRUPT (8) has an awkward draw for his return. He went to a new level last campaign and did enough in a recent trial. TILTHEREWARSYOU (11) settled too far back to make an impact first-up and could be an improver with Sanderson going back on.
RACE 5 - COUP DE SPRY (2) was a beaten favourite last start at a mile but lost no admirers, rattling home after settling at the rear. Up to 2100m looks suitable now, but he'll need a good ride from the low draw as a horse with no gate speed. MONTE FLEUR (3) passed his 2100m test with flying colours in easier grade. She drops 1.5kg and is the horse on the up in a moderate field of exposed stayers. ALWAYS A WINNER (1) gets Toker back on who is a two-time winner on the horse. He'll run them along but hasn't had the cheap sectionals needed to finish off in his most recent performances. THREE'S A CROWD (7) is racing well, the triftecta put a good margin on fourth over a mile in Hobart. FURTHER NORTH (10) was clearly best of the swoopers in a leader-dominated affair last time. Her winning strike rate is an obvious knock, but has a chance if the race shape allows her to get into the race.
RACE 6 - SIR SIMON (3) ran a typically honest race resuming. He was made to work in front and held them all off except for the subsequent winner King Island, with a solid margin back to ARTY LUCAS (4) in third. Sir Simon should be first to the fence again, but there does appear a few challengers for the lead, including ROMARY (5), who also comes via the same race. Up to a mile doesn't look to be a negative for any of that trio. MISS CHARLIE BROWN (6) carried a big weight to win first-up and now drops 6.5kg. Her form can be tied in through Square Donut, who was second to King Island last Friday night. On a night when the inside was the place to be, RISING LIGHT (1) didn't receive the best ride last time but was still entitled to finish the race a bit better. Six of his seven career wins have been over a mile.
RACE 7 - CAPITAL CHEVAL (1) defied a market drift to win in dominant fashion on Melbourne Cup Day. He was scratched from a poor barrier last Friday night, but in the smallish field, you'd expect he would go around here despite not drawing perfectly. MIHOKO TAKEO (5) also came out of the same race, eventually won by the roughie Co Accused. She maps to find the front with relative ease, and any track pattern will be well and truly established by now. SWOOP THERE IT IS (3) is yet another runner to be in and out of the form guides since she last raced. She disappointed as favourite there, but it was a tactically run affair in a small field, and she was asked to do a lot from off the pace. PERKINS (6) had market support at a price last week and was a bit better than it reads on paper. EXPENSIVE MISTAKE (8) was good three runs back at his first start for John Blacker, but subsequent performances have dropped away.
RACE 8 - POWER MAGNUM (1) gets a senior rider back on looking for his first victory outside the Devonport 1150m. He hasn't delivered on the promise he once showed, but this is a very winnable assignment. ROMANESCO FRESCO (5) was only grabbed on the line in Hobart. She's a tough on-pacer, and the leaders have had a particularly good time of it in the night's final Launceston race recently. NEEDS REMEMBERING (4) comes via the same race where the trifecta put a massive margin on fourth. He certainly hasn't gone backward since joining the Terry Evans stable. THE DECIDER (6) maps for a good transit but lacks a turn of foot and may be looking for the mile now. GEE GEE SILENTNITE (2) didn't have the soft time in front last time that he did when victorious here two starts ago. The pressure on paper in this race looks moderate, which would help his chances.