DREAMY BELLE- The Kris Lees-trained Dreamy Belle is another filly likely to relish coming back in distance when she lines up in the Ryan Ansell Investment Solutions Benchmark 65 Handicap (900m). I haven’t seen Dreamy Belle in the flesh, but I suspect she is on the small side as Kris Lees has consistently tried to keep her in races where she is down in the weights and that’s the case on Saturday with apprentice Louise Day again in the saddle. Day can claim 3kg at the provincials compared to 2kg on the country tracks which saw Dreamy Belle carry 54.5kg when run down late over 1000m at Muswellbrook last start. The additional allowance for Day is significant as Dreamy Belle gets into Saturday’s assignment with the same weight in what, on paper is a weaker race.Nick On The Run was too good for Dreamy Belle at Muswellbrook and will be the testing material again however a 3kg weight turnaround in favour of the filly and back to the 900m scamper gives Dreamy Belle every chance to reverse the result.
SHOCKFACTOR- I made this four-year-old mare by Shocking the Racenet Blackbooker two weeks ago after her effort in a Saturday class three at Doomben over 1630m on a soft track and note that she was scratched from a much weaker race at Ipswich on Wednesday to run here. At her last outing on a leader biased track at Doomben she was bumped heavily early and was well off them to the home turn but made plenty of ground near the rail in the straight before being checked at the 100m which may have cost her the race. Trainer Paul Duncan has been patient with her having only six career starts to date, winkers go on and whilst this class is a significant step up in grade her three wins have been at this track. Regular rider Stephanie Lacy stays on and from gate one she can sit off the speed and be too strong in the run home.
HELAROCITY- Trained by Lindsay Hatch this six-year-old by Ferocity has always shown a lot of ability as eight wins from seventeen starts show. His two runs since resuming have been solid efforts on soft tracks and he is likely to get more suitable going here. When he last got firm ground at this track he won a Benchmark 75 over 1200m carrying 58kg so a No More than One Metro Win Handicap with 57.5kg should hold no fears. Michael Cahill takes the ride and on this big track from barrier 14 he can find cover off the speed and run past them over the final stages.
DREAMS APLENTY- Dreams Aplenty is one of my favourite horses purely because of the way he races and has warmed up for this first-up effort with a strong trial win at the Gold Coast on Tuesday. Trainer John Zielke has engaged Tegan Harrison to ride so there is no secret as to what the instructions will be “Go to the front and run them off their legs”. The big horse by Dream Ahead invariably races well fresh and can carry weight, 1400m is his best distance and he will give a bold sight for a very long way.
JOHNNY WHITESOX- He is trained by Chris Munce at Sunshine Coast and somewhat surprisingly is having his first start at the track at which I think he will be most suited. At his last outing at the Gold Coast he was never on the track from barrier 14 but ran on well and at his previous start at the leader-biased Doomben came from well off the speed to win on a soft track over 1100m. The 1200m at Sunshine Coast looks ideal and regular rider Matt McGillivray can him off the speed with cover from gate nine to power over them in the run home.