SIZZLEME - He backs up from last week at Bendigo which was a non-event for him. Coming to the turn he bolted up behind the leader and that’s where he stayed. The stewards’ report reads “held up from the 400m to the end of the race, unable to obtain clear running, went to the line untested”. He had his first race start here over 1100m, running on well, last week he resumed over 1000m, out to 1200m here suits better. I have no doubts about the stable backing him up as the run last week resembled a barrier trial. He looks the tester with the weight advantage, let’s hope Ben Allen can get some luck this week.
RAVI - This looks a lovely race for her, I love her set up. Most of her best runs have come first-up or second-up and she arrives here second-up off a 35-day freshen. When resuming she led against the stable and rider’s wishes, getting run down late by the second favourite here Sugar Bella. This time she’ll meet Sugar Bella 6kg better and from barrier 2 she should be able to secure cover with Quilista drawn out, Fragonard also probably rolls forward early and if she can be smothered up, she’ll relax better and is so much more effective. If that happens and she produces her best – she’ll let these know she’s in the race.
HEAVENS ABOVE - It’s not an easy race, there are plenty of chances and good luck will be vital, but this mare is a proven Group I performer, she was good in the Coolmore Classic from a hopeless position and meets most of these better at the weights. She hasn’t been suited in leader dominated races both times this campaign and there’s no doubting she’s better suited at Randwick. She's got solid figures at Randwick, over the mile and track/distance, comes here with form references around the gun mares and third-up it’s fair to expect she can improve more than most of these. Hopefully she can jump clean and settle that little bit closer, because with an unimpeded run in the straight, she’ll be as strong as any and the price is attractive.
AUVRAY - I got something out of him two back then let him go last time stepping out at weight-for-age but gee he was super. Watching the replay, Jason Collett who’d only had one ride on him previously over 1800m, dropped his hands shortly after the start and I reckon the horse had a lend of him, they’d gone 600m and he was four lengths back off the second last horse. His trainer Richard Freedman has said before he’s a quirky horse but his closing sectionals in the Tancred also show he’s got genuine Group I ability. Collett started to bridge the gap back to the field from the 1400m of the race and he ran the second fastest figures from the 1400-1200m, 1200-1000, 1000-800m, the third fastest figure from 800-600m and the quickest spits 600-400m, 400-200m before he bottomed out with 100m to run. His last 600m figure of 35.26 was the best in the race. Glyn Schofield’s won all three races aboard Auvray in Australia, he’s back in the seat on Saturday and he won’t have the wool pulled over his eyes. Drops to 52kg, he will run the trip and he’s a bloody good $13 chance.
VIRIDINE - Here’s another Godolphin three-year-old colt that is knocking on the door. Yet to win in his two starts this preparation but brings to the table genuine A-grade Group I sprinting form. I thought he was super first-up when breaking 32 seconds for his last 600m behind Redzel at weight-for-age over 1000m in the Challenge Stakes. Then up to 1100m he again reeled off some solid closing numbers, finishing third behind In Her Time and English in the Galaxy. Drops back to his own age now, it’s set weights and he’s got excellent Randwick and 1200m figures. Third-up should see him at his peak and I’m expecting to see this colt prove he’s a genuine Group I sprinting candidate for the upcoming season.