A Caulfield Cup ballot exemption is on the cards for the winner of the Mornington Cup (2400m) this Saturday and that race highlights a good card of racing at Mornington. The weather forecast is for showers, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:35) Peninsula Essence Handicap (78) 1000m
4 Matty (Bet Now: $2.10) is the best horse in the race, potentially, but he just does so much wrong and upstairs, it’s not all there. Resumed at the Valley 955m three weeks back and was no match for Sprightly Lass, who would have won the Maurice McCarten last Saturday at Rosehill had it not been for waywardness. If he puts it together, he’ll run a beauty.
3 Gibbon (Bet Now: $6.00) could be the knockout here. Wendy Kelly trains this sprinter, who has had his last couple of outings a the Valley over 1000m and 955m respectively, not having much luck either start. Got a good record at the 1000m and there should be enough speed in front of him to get his chance and launch late.
2 Sir Donald (Bet Now: $8.50) is a big watch here. Former Michael Nolan speed demon from Toowoomba that makes his Victorian debut for the Greg Eurell team. Had some pretty solid form when racing north of the Tweed so I think he has to be respected here, and to my eye, he looked to trial up quite well behind Missrock recently at Cranbourne.
Race 2. (13:10) No Fuss Event Hire Handicap (90) 2000m
7 Ashlee Marie (Bet Now: $3.00) looks well placed here by the Richard Laming camp and we know the stable are very good with their runners on the fresh side. This girl hasn’t raced since Valentines Day at Sandown over 2100m when attempting to lead all the way and she gave a pretty good kick but just died on the run when second to Miss Danni. More depth here but should be on speed and should take some beating.
3 Shoreham (Bet Now: $5.00) hasn’t raced since Feb 3 when racing over 2400m at Caulfield when racing like a tired horse it seemed when fifth to Double Bluff. He is a horse who goes well on the fresh side and overall, this isn’t a strong race so he doesn’t need to improve much to figure prominently in the finish.
6 Charlevoix (Bet Now: $5.25) resumed over 1800m a fortnight back at Flemington and like most that afternoon, if you were sitting near last, you had no hope of running on and that was the case for this horse behind Kings Will Dream. Up to 2000m, no depth here and gets Kersley with the claim, so he ticks a few boxes.
Race 3. (13:45) Martin Collins Fibretrack Sires 1500m
Like the look of 2 Muswellbrook (Bet Now: $4.80) here in what looks a thin race. He was a drifter in betting when debuting over 1200m at Ballarat last Monday but I thought he made up good ground from the back in a race totally dominated by those on speed when fifth to Sunset Watch. Up to 1500m looks ideal and there is next to no depth here.
1 Louie The Legend (Bet Now: $4.90) is a nice looking colt for the Busuttin/Young team who was okay on debut behind Tin Hat before racing under the lights at Pakenham last Thursday night and saluting in a race which looked okay in the end and a race where I think the form can be trusted. Up to 1500m suits and has the runs on the board.
7 Peaceful Solution (Bet Now: $8.00) was completely unwanted in betting when debuting last Thursday night at Pakenham but to her credit I thought she worked to the line quite well late in the piece behind Louie The Legend. Back on her home track now for start two and she should have no issue with the 1500m.
Race 4. (14:25) Cleanaway Handicap (78) 1200m
Such an awful race. 8 So Far Sokool (Bet Now: $4.10) is a talented daughter of Showcasing that resumes for the Archie Alexander team. She didn’t quite live up to the wraps in the spring but she managed to win against the older mares at the Valley. Resuming at 1200m this prep rather than 1000m last prep, along with the encouraging recent jump out, tells me she’s ready to go.
5 Freehearted (Bet Now: $2.55) on form, is a deserved top pick in betting but gee I think she’s short enough at around $2.50. Ran really well against the older horses last time out at the Valley when a close up third to Castelo and that form was franked last night with Haski running a beauty. Draws awkwardly, but Ethan Brown is riding with such confidence at the moment.
2 Jalan Jalan (Bet Now: $9.50) is a quality mare that resumes for the in form Colin Little team. This mare hasn’t raced since the Spring where she was tested at blacktype level but didn’t measure up. Better placed here and thought she trialled up really well on Monday at Cranbourne. Goes well fresh too so I’m including her.
Race 5. (15:05) United Petroleum Handicap (78) 1200m
Leaning the way of 7 Brahmos (Bet Now: $3.10), who is third up here for John Sadler. Lot of merit in his win last time out under the lights at Pakenham because he was on speed and was there to be beaten but found plenty when challenged and clung on to win against a field which had good depth to it. Hard fit now and finds a winnable race.
2 Petite’s Reward (Bet Now: $7.50) is a Brendan McCarthy trained mare who is a speed demon who will be on speed and taking some running down. Attempted to lead all the way over 1200m at the Valley last time out and gave a good kick but just weakened late when sixth to Sabotage. Last 100m will be the test, but she’ll give a sight.
4 My Paisann (Bet Now: $9.00) is a quality animal that resumes for the Lisa Enright team. He was a quality horse when racing during the Autumn/Winter of last year, consistently running well in town. Been given a good break and has appeared to jump out well in readiness for his return to the races. Just has to overcome the sticky draw.
Race 6. (15:45) Ladbrokes Hareeba Stakes 1200m
Taking a chance on 1 First Among Equals (Bet Now: $12.00), a former WA galloper who is having his second prep for the Weir camp.Had a two run campaign in the Spring and was just fair without being great. His a dynamite fresh horse and we know the record Weir has with these WA gallopers, so I’ll keep the faith.
3 I’m Wesley (Bet Now: $3.65) has the form on the board and is a deserved favourite here. He resumed in the Bob Hoysted and beat all bar Group l mare Secret Agenda. Looks to map ideally on speed, gets Linda Meech on and really, he only has to hold that form at worst to take some beating here. He is well found in the market though.
11 Leodoro (Bet Now: $8.00) is a Mick Kent trained gelding who is in career best form. Hasn’t raced for over a month since coming with a well timed run under Beau Mertens to win the Sale Quality, a race which didn’t appear to have great depth to it but he got the job done. Start prior was down the straight six at Flemington and he closed off well behind Just Hifalutin. Runs well fresh so don’t rule out.
Race 7. (16:30) Ladbrokes Mornington Cup 2400m
3 Cismontane (Bet Now: $9.00) on top for me in what looks a tough and tricky edition of the Mornington Cup. He attempted to lead all the way first up in a prelude of this race at Caulfield but was found wanting late when fifth to Homesman. Kept up to the mark with a solid jumps trial at the Bool and worked well at the Valley on Monday. If he can lead and get a cheap sectional, he’ll take some beating.
11 Kings Will Dream (Bet Now: $2.05) a definite threat. I think he was a touch flattered by the win at Flemington a fortnight back. Aided by the bias, lovely ride off the pace, got clear at the right time and proved too good for them. Didn’t have to work hard for the win. Think he might have to here, but he showed two back he can work and win.
4 Gallic Chieftain (Bet Now: $7.00) had been bursting to win a race for a long time and it finally came around for the Darren Weir trained galloper in the Stony Creek when lapping up a drop in depth and a lovely ride from in form hoop Dan Stackhouse to get a much needed confidence boost. He can measure up here for sure.
Race 8. (17:10) Frankston & Mornington Auto Group Mornington Guineas 1600m
Tipping class to come to the fore in the shape of 1 Eshtiraak (Bet Now: $8.00). On face value, two runs back have been just plain, but he has to be forgiven I think. Just got too far back each time but his finale has been more than sound. Clearly not as much depth this time around and draws to get good cover for Nick Hall.
13 Sheezadashing (Bet Now: $7.00) is racing well at the moment for the Jason Warren team and I reckon she will have a big say here. She ran over 1400m at Flemington last Saturday and worked home very well against the tempo/bias behind the in form Holbein. Crying out for further, which she gets here, and up to the mile is a big tick.
Very wary of 3 Silent Command (Bet Now: $27.00), who resumes for the in form Nick Smart team. First up at the mile is never an easy assignment but this horse has really impressed me at the Ballarat jump outs and looks to have come back in really good order. Beat home Bring Me Roses two back. How good does that read for this?
Race 9. (17:45) Mitavite Challenge Final (78) 1600m
5 Heptagon (Bet Now: $6.00) looks the safe option here. Was quite keen on his chances last Wednesday at Sandown and with Guthmann-Chester steering, the gelding knuckled down strongly and proved too good for Kazio. Time was nothing flash but he dug in when required, and on breeding, the mile should be ideal.
8 Kazio (Bet Now: $7.50) ran second to Heptagon in the Sandown race last Wednesday and I thought he tried really hard under gun apprentice Raquel Clark. Just couldn’t quite reel in the Mick Price runner and in the end, he had his chance to run him down. Has placed at the mile and stable is in form so I’ll include.
3 Ma Jones (Bet Now: $5.50) has finished behind Spanish Reef in both runs this prep. Good run fresh to run third before the bias sealed her fate in the Matron in what was a total forgive. Was nominated for the Sunline but the stable have elected to take the softer option, she draws well and gets the claim for an in form hoop in Ethan Brown.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Two Number 7 Ashlee Marie
NEXT BEST: Race Nine Number 5 Heptagon
VALUE: Race Seven Number 3 Cismontane
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 8, 11
Leg Two: 3, 4, 6, 11
Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 4, 13
Leg Four: 3, 5, 6, 8
$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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