The first Sydney Metropolitan meeting of 2013 will be held at Warwick Farm. The track was rated a Good 3 on Thursday and with fine weather forecast, the track should remain in the Good range on race day.
The weather is clearing up in Melbourne. The Caulfield track was rated a Dead 4 on Thursday and it should border between Good/Dead on race day.
In the opening race (Sydney Race 1, 1400m) the Waterhouse-trained 3YO gelding Stand Strong looks a strong chance. After 3 barrier trials, Stand Strong debuted at Canterbury 2 weeks ago. Coming from a wide barrier, Tommy Berry took the gelding to the lead and stayed there at the finish. With only six runners on Saturday, I can see Berry using the same tactic and be hard to catch.
In the Hyland Race Colours BM75 (Sydney Race 3, 2400m), Chris Waller provides the favourite in Georgey Aeroplane. But I like his stablemate, the top weight Marsden. He is the class runner in this race having finished 2nd in his past two starts in better class races, both times over 1900m, and he is ready to step up to 2400m. He isn’t too harshly treated carrying 59kg after Alysha Collett’s claim. From barrier 8, I can see him settles a bit further back than mid-field. With Power Broker and King of the Forest sharing the lead, the pace should be reasonable and that would give Marsden his chance. Currently at $8.00 fixed odds, Marsden represents a good each-way bet.
In the Onemorenomore First Crop BM80 (Sydney Race 4, 1000m), the favourite Sessions looks a promising horse. However his current quote of $2.40 is way under the odds. I opt for the Hugh Bowman mount Tahitian Black. The David Pfieffer-trained gelding has been racing consistently. He has one start over this track and distance with one win. From barrier 2, Hugh Bowman may elect to settle the horse a bit closer to the lead. At the odds ($8.00 fixed odds), Tahitian Black is my pick.
In the 2013 ATC Membership On Sale BM80 (Sydney Race 6, 1600m), the mile race looks made to order for Disciple. The Chris Waller-trained 4YO had won over this track and distance last start. Matter of fact, he has never missed a place over 1600m, winning 3 from 5 starts. Racing in similar class on Saturday and from barrier 5, James McDonald has plenty of options on where to settle the horse. Disciple looks the winner.
By Owens Wong, Editor