Rail: Out 10m entire circuit. Track: Good 4. Weather: Showers (as @ midday Thursday).
BEST BET: Race 8 – 1. CROCODILE ROCK is a gelding destined for bigger things than this. He is near the top of the market for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups later in the spring, he races well fresh and if he is to be competitive in those races later in the carnival, he would be wanting to be putting this lot away.
NISTAAN (3) just hit a flat spot in the run last time but once he reacted and responded to the rider he really ran through the line well. A chance that once again he may be left flat-footed but expect the tempo to be genuine throughout here. Gets a cheap run.
ALJAWZAA (9) is having her first race at HQ here, she was really good late last time after being held-up at a vital stage. Should appreciate getting out to the seven furlongs and looks well drawn to get a soft run.
CONFLUENCE (2) is still a maiden but showed a lot of grit last time after being forced to sit wide throughout and not shirking the task late. Handles all conditions.
PERUGGIA (1) is in winning form and going for three on ed. This is a harder field than what he has been beating but he will be making his own luck up on the speed.
Not a lot between a few of them here. KILIMANJARO (2) is a UK import that has been good at his two starts here. Flew home fresh after a monster 714-day break then was a little flat understandably second-up but stuck on ok. Expect him to be fully wound up for this.
MASTER ZEPHYR (3) comes out of the same race as the top selection, ran on better than him but had the fitness edge. Will be getting a soft rails run and will need a good ride off that draw, but will be charging home with any luck.
SUPER HAZE (4) is a last start winner here, he was forced to make a long sustained run but kept going through the line. Will certainly run the trip.
The field starts to fall away from there, ARALDO JUNIOR (1) looks the only other realistic chance. Lst start winner over two miles, he may find a couple of them too slick when they quicken around the long sweeping bend for home. Will keep coming in the straight.
SOVEREIGN NATION (2) has been good this prep, all three runs here at HQ. He drops back from the mile and will get well back but will be charging down the middle of the track late.
ONEROUS (5) loomed up to win last start at Caulfield but just couldn’t get past the winner late. He draws a bit wider and just needs to be saved for one run.
TALLY (1) has the big weight resuming, has raced well fresh before. He will be giving them a start and if ridden for luck and not having to do too much work in the run, should run ok. Looking for longer.
TRIED AND TRIED (3) comes into calculations if the on-pacers have dominated in the first couple of races. He will roll forward and will need a couple of cheap sectionals.
JAMINZAH (11) was good through the line winning here last time. He will get back again and if he can get that vital three wide trail into the long straight, expect his consistency to show through again here.
RIYADH (3) has won three in a row including the last two here. He will be put to sleep at the tail of the field and look to come with one big run late. Hard to beat.
SHAMKIYR (2) should be well into double figure odds, he is still only has the maiden win to his credit but ran through the line fresh. Expect him to improve again and will settle closer.
PORTION CONTROL (5) was a dominant last start winner when saved for one run at them. He does have some tactical speed when needed so the jock will have all the options early.
The only thing that looks to be a negative here for SAMOVARE (2) is the barrier. She came to Victoria as a proven 3yo in the west, was super here fresh at his first look at Flemington. Has had a couple of months off again, no doubt she is in for a big Spring. If she gets cover here around the bend which appears quickly from this start, she will be winning. Probably still wins if having to work.
SWAMPLAND (6) and O’RACHAEL (5) look the two obvious dangers and that will probably be reflected in the betting, but happy to play them in the minor placings only.
ALL CLEAR (1) may need the run but comes to Vic for her first run for the Weir yard. May be a sneaky place chance for exotic players.
WAYANKA (13) has been up for a while but looks suited here dropping back from the mile to the 1400m. Likely to be giving them a start, if he can run through the line like he did two back he will be right in the finish.
KNOWABLE (3) struggled up the straight last time when resuming, he gets in well here with the claim and should be up on the speed. Should be heading the field when they turn for home.
KILMACURRAGH (9) is resuming. He has a great record fresh (4:2-0-1) and the best advice is probably to watch the betting and if there is support for him, most probably late in the betting he can be right in the finish.
I BOOGI (7) won resuming, usually a good fresh horse but is unplaced at both second-up runs. He should be giving them a start, just needs to find cover until making his run in the straight.
Looks one of the most open races of the day, expect there to be $5 the field available about this lot at some stage of betting. Play wide in the Quaddie, very rarely that I believe the “field” is an option but that looks the case here. If needing to play skinnier, be sure to throw in FLIPPANT (5), CANNYESCENT (7), HEY DOC (1) and MANUEL (10).
CROCODILE ROCK (1) is a lightly raced 6yo import that is resuming here. He has traditionally been good fresh, most of his runs have been spaced so the fresh aspect is not new to him. He is in the second or third line of betting for the big Spring Cups here in Melbourne, if he is to go on to be competitive in those sort of features he should be wining this.
GALAXY RAIDER (9) will find this easier than last start where he wasn’t beaten far. He looks the obvious danger but will need cover early. If the top weight is not ready to go, he looks the one.
Others with a chance include BLING DYNASTY (2) and THE THUG (11) but if the money is there early for the Lloyd Williams horse at the top of selections early in the betting, happy to play him one out in the Quad if you played wide in the previous leg.
Big field to finish the card up the straight. TRIBAL WISDOM (11) should appreciate the likely good tempo that will be on here. He will improve on what he does here fresh over longer but the tempo should be there to run on hard.
ROCKET TOMMY (7) is fast, very fast and resuming here should be ready to fire. He is 3:2-0-0 when resuming and a perfect 2/2 here down the straight over the 1000m, he will be out in front and giving them something to catch.
RUNSON(10) also has a stack of speed and will be up eye-balling the other on speed chances, has the wide draw, will be interesting to see where they come with the rail out so far here.
ROUGH JUSTICE (3) rarely runs a bad race here.