IN GOOD TIME - The Tracey Bartley-trained In Good Time looks set to maintain her unbeaten record in the Aristocrat John Clift Memorial – Benchmark 70 Showcase Handicap (1000m). A three-year-old daughter of Time Thief, In Good Time takes on the older horses stepping up in grade but does look up to the task. A Dubbo maiden winner and a Wellington class one victor in her first preparation, In Good Time has kept the wining sequence going with successive wins at Port Macquarie in her two runs this time in. In Good Time was originally allocated 59kg at acceptance time which looked a genuine query however the decision to stick with 1.5kg claiming apprentice Chris Williams who won on the filly at Port Macquarie looks a winning move. Williams will have plenty of options for In Good Time launching from barrier two either leading or taking the sit if there is something in the race that wants to take the unbeaten filly on and the winning run is expected to continue.
A MAN TO MATCH - Trained by Tony Gollan this colt by High Chapparal out of a mare that won over 2000m is going to get better with time but did a good job on debut at this track behind yesterday’s Dalrello winner Mishani Hustler. A Man to Match was very green over 1200m, over-racing and getting well back in running but, after changing course in the straight, motored home over the final part for fourth beaten two lengths. The extra 100m here will suit, Sean Cormack stays on and with the benefit of race experience should be hard to hold out.
SURPRISE BULLET - This is a very strong race for a class one with some talented three-year-olds engaged. Barry Lockwood is a canny trainer who can get them ready first-up and while some may raise their eyes at Surprise Bullet having his first-up run at 1600m after only one trial he will have done plenty of work at home. Surprise Bullet has only had six career outings and two starts back bolted in over 1800m at the Gold Coast and was sufficiently impressive that he took on group one horses at his next start in the Spring Champion Stakes before being spelled. By Frankel’s three-quarter brother Bullet Train out of an Encosta De Lago mare he is bred for the classic distances and with Brad Pengelly to ride he can start off here with a good performance. It won’t be easy with Oaks candidates Protest and Cabierro in the field but I am prepared to have a little on him with an eye to the future.
SWEET ORPHAN - Trained by Stuart Kendrick Sweet Orphan showed some promise last preparation with two wins including one at this track and distance. The other win was first-up at the Gold Coast which augurs well for this engagement on her home track over 1000m. Sweet Orphan is out of the grand producing mare Wabble and is a sister to Oakleigh Plate winner Woorim as well as good horses My Limit, Bribie and Charnley River. She has yet to live up to her pedigree but as a three-year-old there is still plenty of time. Tiffani Brooker has ridden her previously and this track suits. From gate two she should get a good run just off the speed and can start Sweet Orphan’s preparation off on a good note.
TOUGH MONARCH - Tough Monarch comes through different formlines than the Vics here, he is trained in NSW and was a good thing beaten last start. He was off the 10m handicap in the Group II feature at Menangle, led, broke down the back when seemingly cruising in front. He was forced to go inside the track and restrain to the tail, he got back down again late before rocketing home late to not be beaten far. That was his first defeat in three stand starts, back off the front today if he does everything right he will be hard to run down.