Track Circumference: 804.5m
IMPORTANT: Sprint Lane NOT in Operation. Front line: 9 runners.
The barrier draws for this round of heats were PBD (Preferential Barrier Draw) where the lowest ranked horses were drawn the best.
RACE 4 – RETRAVISION INTER DOMINION HEAT 7 – 2536m
Runners & Comments
- Dynamite Dude: Still waiting to get out from his peg run at Bunbury and unfortunately the same may occur in this heat. He’s perfectly suited by the distance but will be flashing late if he ever gets out.
- Billies A Star: Looked to have every chance at Bunbury on Tuesday. While he may not be going as well as six weeks ago he should benefit from the likely speed on.
- Mach Alert: As predicted, he was used up early in a scintillating first quarter on Tuesday. Should push forward but do not be surprised to see a change of tactics and handing up tonight over the long trip.
- Bettors Fire: SCRATCHED
- Franco Ledger: Has been gifted a great draw and he should be able to ease over to the running line with the speed underneath him. Is going well and will be hitting the line hard.
- Crusader Banner: Had a soft run at Bunbury 3 pegs and didn’t really explode to the line like he should have. Will benefit from the staying trip here. Junior may just drive him cold straight to the pegs once again.
- My Hard Copy: Produced an outstanding win on Tuesday which was setup by quality early pace. Not sure he is suited this trip and will have to come good with one sweeping run.
- Lovers Delight: His run had to be seen to be believed on Tuesday. Three wide the journey yet still had the audacity to be there at the finish. Admittedly, he did record a slow middle section but there was still plenty to like. Will drive for luck as a 5th or 6th and should be good enough.
- Lennytheshark: Very interested in what price he will start as he only needs to finish to make the final. I initially would have suggested LAYING the series favourite, but with BETTORS FIRE being scratched I simply can’t see anyone going near him.
- For A Reason: Veteran that is simply not going well enough. Had a cheap run and didn’t finish off at all on Tuesday. No excuses. Outside place chance at best.
This heat has changed complexion with the scratching of BETTORS FIRE. In what looked a good race to Lay LENNYTHESHARK, it’s now hard to see him not just rolling forward mid-race. Would any horse want to pressure him? Has it seemingly gone from a good Lay to a good thing? Depending on any change of tactics, MACH ALERT will lead which may hand up to FRANCO LEDGER, who will hand up to LENNYTHESHARK. That’s how I would drive those three horses. MY HARD COPY, CRUSADER BANNER, LOVERS DELIGHT and, to a lesser extent, BILLIES A STAR should all finish hard but may end up giving away too big a start. DYNAMITE DUDE looks a great place bet as he will not have to run a yard further than required.
RACE 6- WESTRAL INTER DOMINION HEAT 8 – 2536m
Runners & Comments
- Our Hi Jinx: One of the disappointments of the series. Did have excuses last time but really didn’t run on the last 100 when out. Should improve out to this trip.
- Northview Punter: He couldn’t lead from the pole on Tuesday and had every opportunity thereafter following a brave Easy On The Eye. Will probably be best to just drop back to 4 pegs and hope for the best.
- Libertybelle Midfrew: Has been luckless in both heats. The map is interesting, if saved for one run I can really see her putting in a perfect effort. Must have been flying to enter in this series so a big final heat won’t surprise.
- Shannonsablast: The surprise packet in the series that has more than outperformed my expectations. Looks likely to go to the chair early and can’t see him holding on over the staying trip.
- Jason Rulz: Has also been good in both heats and looks the main beneficiary of the extended trip. Should be finishing hard again and will require a top-three finish to qualify for the final.
- Major Crocker: This Victorian is absolutely flying. On Tuesday he sat parked in track record time and only just got run over. Has great gate speed and may work to the front. Just hope that Tuesday’s run didn’t take it all out of him.
- Our Blackbird: Has been good in two heats thus far. Is almost assured he will drive for luck from back on the pegs. Outside place chance.
- Waylade: Had a quiet run Tuesday but finished off nicely. Junior may elect to roll forward here and, with the amount of work that Major Crocker did on Tuesday, may get gifted the lead.
- Philadelphia Man: Is in the same boat as Lenny in Heat 7, just needs to finish to win. The iceman will go back and just come with one run. May get out to a crazy price by jump time.
- Easy On The Eye: Super effort Tuesday when in his preferred role in front. Faces tougher task here though as tactics will be interesting with Lauren back on.
An intriguing contest and one that I am labelling my best bet of the series so far. WAYLADE is on the borderline of qualifiers as it stands at the moment and will push forward to have the lead handed to him. He loves the staying trip and without Gavin going forward on PHILADELPHIA MAN he will get away with it too easy in front.
PHILADELPHIA MAN undoubtedly has the natural brilliance to win and if you can get $4 about him I would be backing him. Although I believe the way he will be driven he will start unders. LIBERTYBELLE MIDFREW is big unders in my opinion. If she works, she can’t win, but if she sits back she is not good enough to run past them. It’s simple. She needs to win to get in but I think she can’t get the race run to suit her.
MAJOR CROCKER is a place chance, I just hope that he doesn’t race flat after a tremendous effort Tuesday. Can lead but I expect Greg Sugars to hand up soon after. JASON RULZ will be running on and looks a good place bet, would need $4+ though.
RACE 8- TABTOUCH INTER DOMINION HEAT 9 – 2536m
Runners & Comments
- Meadowbranch DJ: Did improve in Round 2 but the Irish visitor just isn’t competitive enough. Any LAY in this will be a winning bet.
- Five Star Anvil: Not going well enough this series, should improve out to the staying trip.
- Cold Major: The eighth placing doesn’t show it but he produced a much better turn of foot on Tuesday. With a quick front line, I expect him to get to the pegs first with ease unless there is a change of tactic.
- Mach Beauty: Lauren Panella returns to the cart and the horse undoubtedly goes better for her. Looked to have no excuses over the favoured mile on Tuesday and will have to work again to lead. Not for me.
- Classic American: The fast front line means he should be able to amble across to the running line. Would need all the favours after that.
- Avonnova: Queensland star that confuses me with the speed map. He has gate speed, not nearly enough to cross, but may be able to control the race from the breeze. With Mach Beauty unlikely to run the trip he may be forced to hit the front too soon.
- Blazin N Cullen: Super drive on Tuesday when J MacCarthy came to the breeze when the pace slowed. Kicked strongly into the straight and was super in defeat. I think tonight he will be driven cold and hope they go mad up front.
- Flaming Flutter: Was disappointing on the first night when he has seemingly every chance in front. Proved to be no one trick pony on Tuesday getting home well which may prove to be the best way to drive him.
- Davendra: We all saw the effort he was forced to use on Tuesday. In saying that it was admirable finishing so close up after an early speed burn that was off the charts. Is very quick out but just can’t see where he will lob? Looks assured a safe passage to the final with a change of tactics expected.
- Machtu: Has handled himself well but will be better suited in next year’s series. Cheap pegs run likely here and may get out down the back and run into a place at odds.
An extremely tough race with two likely scenarios. The first being if MACH BEAUTY leads again, as expected, I think that AVONNOVA will come to the breeze and keep the tempo genuine, all but ruining the chances of them both.
COLD MAJOR should be leaders back. Swoopers should play a big part, look for BLAZIN N CULLEN, FLAMING FLUTTER and CLASSIC AMERICAN. That scenario only plays out if DAVENDRA has a change of tactics and goes back which I predict, only needs to not come last and he will all but secure a spot in the final.
The second scenario is that if COLD MAJOR, MACH BEAUTY and DAVENDRA fire out ensuring another speed war. In this case look for the swoopers again, although I predict AVONNOVA to go back if Rattray does not signify his intentions publicly to go back, giving AVONNOVA a much better chance. Small bets only on the swoopers. FLAMING FLUTTER looks a splendid each-way commodity. If the COT comes and DAVENDRA is going back then Lay both the win and place.