LAWAN - 14 runners will line up in the J & K Jarvis Racing Open Showcase Handicap (1200m) with 10 of the runners allotted the minimum weight of 54kg. Although benchmark ratings are used to create a level playing field in handicap races the requirement of a minimum 54kg weight in races in country NSW means some horse can be advantaged. Lawan is a case in point, although his 70 rating is two points shy of the highest rated horse on the limit, the 3kg claim for apprentice Lexi McPherson means the Jim Jarvis is the best weighted horse of those down in the weights. As a last winner at Armidale and twice a victor on soft ground, Lawan has the form on the board to take advantage of the favourable weight scale.
SNITZ - Snitz doesn’t know how to run a bad race and put in a brave effort when from gate 14 was never on the track at Randwick in the Country Championship final. He will find this much easier despite the presence of recent Sydney winner Marsupial and has an excellent record at Doomben with three wins from seven starts, two at this distance. Regular rider Robbie Fradd stays aboard, he can find a handy position with cover and can knock over the Godolphin horse.
ANOTHER DOLLAR - I’ve had a big opinion of this Chris Waller-trained filly since I saw her win a Maiden at the Gold Coast three starts back. She is very much a work in progress and I was very surprised when she was sent out favourite in a Fillies and Mares Benchmark 75 when resuming. That she was able to win that race over 1300m at Toowoomba convinced me even more that this daughter of Ocean Park has some big days ahead. Another Dollar steps up to 1630m here and takes on some good company but Jeff Lloyd has retained the mount. At her only previous attempt at this trip she got too far back before rushing home late to just miss and hopefully gets a more positive ride. If Another Dollar is in touch with them on the home turn she will be hard to hold off and is good each-way value.
MONSIEUR GUSTAVE - Even since Daryl Hansen got hold of this horse he has continued to improve and last preparation he was able to win the Listed Keith Noud over 1200m at Ipswich first-up and followed that with a win in the Group three George Moore Stakes over this trip at Doomben carrying 58kg from the outside gate, that being his only previous start this track and distance. He has been readied for this assignment with a trial and his regular partner Tiff Brooker takes the mount. I know this is a strong field at WFA conditions but he will go forward, make his own luck and defy them to run him down. I would rather be taking the $18 about him than $1.95 Impending particularly if there are still eight starters on race morning.
DELAGO THUNDER - Trained by David Joice at the Gold Coast she ran home very strongly to grab the minor prize when resuming at her first start for the trainer since transferring from David Payne. She showed ability early in her career winning narrowly at debut but was then asked to perform in Group races which was clearly beyond her. After returning from a spell she developed barrier issues and was moved on. Delago Thunder showed something of her ability last start, should be improved by the outing and on this big track with Sean Cormack to steer could be hard to hold out.