Two meetings to preview on Friday, headlined by the Group l Great Southern Star at Tabcorp Park Melton.
The best bets for the respective programs are down below.
Best bet: Race 1 Number 3 Aladdin Sane
He did the right thing by us on Australia Day and happy to butter up with him. He was tardy away, but the small field ensured he was within range to make a mid-race move to get on speed and from there, he was far too good. Harder here, and likely will be slow away again, but the engine he has is better than these.
Next-best: Race 6 Number 9 Big Wheels
He takes on the older horses, but he looks to have Group l potential and his class should get him home. He was very good during his two-year-old season, winning four of five starts and I loved the way he looked in a recent trial. He follows out a fast beginner, so he shouldn’t be too far away and he looks like the one to beat.
Value: Race 9 Number 1 Underthekilt
Something very small each way on this guy at big odds. His best days are probably behind him, but he has a gate to use if they want to, hopefully landing box seat, three back at worst. He hasn’t been too bad in three runs this prep and at big odds, he’s worth something small each way.
Best bet: Race 3 Number 2 Tough Monarch
The first heat of the Southern Star and it just looks a perfect set up for this guy to win his respective heat. Given the final is later on in the evening, I dare say they won’t be humming and turning this into a war, so I suspect Tough Monarch finds the lead comfortably and from there, he should be too good.
Next-best: Race 5 Number 4 Tailored Elegance
A bit surprised at the market gap between President Roydon and this quality mare. I thought they would be much closer. A former Mark Purdon-trained mare that came to Australia with big wraps and ran okay, but she came across at a time where the three-year-old fillies were an outstanding crop. She has trialled up like a bomb leading in and she’s ready to rock and roll.
Value: Race 7 Number 3 Kyvalley Chief
He has already been $8-$4.80, but I suspect he will get back out towards race time. Brent Lilley has him flying at the moment. He was too sharp for President Roydon two back before going to Ballarat where he got back off the speed and worked home strongly when third I’m Ready Jet. If he can press forward and get the lead then perhaps trail, he’ll take some beating.