Doomben plays host to a nine-race program on Saturday, with the track officially a Heavy 8 on Friday morning. More sun on the track today and tomorrow should see it improve to at least a Soft 7, if not a Soft 6 by midday Saturday. The rail is +2.5m the entire circuit back from the +8m position on Monday.
Race 4 – FENDER
Should have the speed to lead and around Doomben it makes him extremely hard to run down. The favourite Amiche will have the drop on him, but if Ryan Maloney can steal an easy sectional or two on Fender, she’ll want to bring her A-game to run him down. Trainer Brett Cavanough says there will be no fitness excuse first-up after Fender ran second in an impressive trial behind Total Recall (who since came out and won earlier this week). Fender has won four from seven, with one of those defeats a 2.7 length seventh in Group Two company behind Wild Planet in Sydney. Other defeats include a heavy track failure at the end of the prep following a 2.8 length defeat to talented stablemate It’s Me in the Kosciusko. The stable is targeting a likely tilt at the Stradbroke and if he’s going to continue on that path, he should be accounting for this lot.
Race 6 – BETTER GET SET
We black-booked this talented 3yo filly off her run a fortnight ago at Doomben and keen to stick with her here. I like the fact blinkers come off for this run – a sign she’s maturing and ready to put her best foot forward. Last start at Doomben she settled handy but was a touch keen with the blinkers on. Adding to that, the winner had an easy run in front making it near impossible for Better Get Set to run him down. She should land in a similar spot again from barrier nine, tucked up in between runners just off the fence and in behind likely leaders Kasear and Bondurant. She’s ready to win.
BEST EACH WAY
Race 3 – BAREFOOT
This honest mare looks a top three lock after running well for us last start, somehow missing the place at huge odds (arguably should’ve even won). She was beaten a pimple for third and had no luck in running. We kept her in the black-book and while she does take on a tougher race on paper (benchmark 85 to benchmark 90), I see no reason why she can’t make further improvement as she’s only at her third run this campaign. I like that she has drawn widest as she’ll likely settle back last anyway. From the draw it means she won’t get left on the fence at the back of the field, instead she probably settles with clear running, last on the outside of Victory Eight. Great each-way hope.